Excerpt form Coffee & Covid
By Jeff Childers
The Washington Post ran a moving and incredibly encouraging story yesterday headlined, “Conservatives Skeptical of Coronavirus Vaccines Battle to Lead a Hospital.”
The WaPo didn’t mean it to be encouraging, that was an accident. Remarkably, the article actually praises SOME Republicans, by carefully peeling away “conservatives,” who are described as “activists,” “skeptics,” and “distrustful of vaccines,” from a handful of “moderate Republicans,” who are pedigreed, credentialed and who ALWAYS boost covid vaccines and mandates, like good little doggies.
The article begins with Sarasota conservative Victor Rohe, who got a bad case of covid last September, and decided to rent his own oxygen unit and treat himself instead of taking his chances with remdesivir and the ventilator in Sarasota Hospital, which was the only treatment it offered.
Now he’s doing just fine, and he’s running for the hospital board.
WaPo says there are four cooperating candidates running for the board. They’re challenging long-established incumbents, and “at least three of whom are skeptical of coronavirus vaccine mandates, [all] rallying behind the theme of ‘medical freedom.’”
Sounds good to me, but the WaPo hints darkly that this is a disastrous development.
I have personal experience with Sarasota Hospital. Among others, including top-level hospital staff, last year I spoke with Dr. Stephan Guffanti, a retired ER doctor. He was hospitalized for covid at Sarasota. Guffanti told me that his roommate, an elderly black man, was in distress and was being ignored by staff, until his situation became life threatening. So, Guffanti became his roommate’s patient advocate and began insisting on improved care for him and pointing out the Hospital’s negligence.
Before he knew what had happened to him, Guffanti found himself physically restrained — tied down — in a bed in a room by himself. His roommate died. Guffanti, through what he believes was a miracle, somehow got himself discharged AMA. After Guffanti started loudly and publicly complaining and spoke to media about what had happened, Sarasota Hospital spokeslady Kim Savage accused him of lying for “politically motivated” reasons. Fortunately, he’d videotaped much of his experience and folks helped him put it online. Boom.
It wasn’t Guffanti who was lying.
After unsuccessfully trying to find a legal way to address the problems, Guffanti took personal responsibility for the problem — analogously to how Victor Rohe took personal responsibility for getting his own oxygen and treating his covid at home.
According to the WaPo article, about a month ago Dr. Guffanti recruited a slate of candidates to run for the Hospital board, whose members hold staggered 4-year terms. The WaPo notes the nine current members — four are up for election this year — are all establishment Republicans, described by the WaPo as “relatively moderate GOP candidates” with “extensive backgrounds in medicine or business.”
For example, Darryl W. Henry, cemented into the hospital board in 2008, worked in DC for the Joint Chiefs at the Pentagon and later for a defense contractor. Another incumbent, Joseph J. DeVirgilio,Jr., is a former utility executive from Upstate New York. These gentlemen, along with the rest of the board, should be ashamed of themselves. They should do a lot of soul searching about their roles in the bloody disaster that unfolded in the Sarasota hospital system during the pandemic.
On the other hand, the challengers lack connections with the defense industry or with New York public utilities. They are mostly DOCTORS AND NURSES, which clearly disgusts the highbrow WaPo. What do doctors and nurses know about running a hospital? “It is time demanding and it requires deep intellectual thought and requires you gaining knowledge of the entire medical process, and entire medical financial process,” the article quotes pompous board member Darryl Henry.
Oh no! Running a hospital requires “deep intellectual thought,” like the former defense contractor has. Doctors and nurses can’t think deeply and intellectually. It’s a good thing we have former defense contractors to save us.
The challengers are all running on a “patients first” platform of medical autonomy and the rights of patients to direct their own care, instead of blindly handing their bodies over to faceless bureaucrat non-doctors like elitists Henry and DeVirgilio. For some reason, the challenging candidates seem to think people and their doctors should make choices about care, instead of hospital boards dictating that the only treatment patients will get, like it or not, regardless of their individual conditions, comorbidities, or drug interactions, is remdesivir and the ventilator.
I don’t need to tell you about the well-known problems with THAT unfortunate treatment protocol, do I?
Candidate Victor Rohe told WaPo, “The biggest problem, and it’s not just here, it’s all around the country, is the interruption of the doctor-patient relationship,” adding that one of the reasons he decided to self-treat his own coronavirus infection was hearing about Guffanti’s experience at the hospital. “If you went to a hospital. Would you want your medical decisions made by a bureaucrat? Or by your doctor? … The culture of the hospital has changed.”
Folks, THIS is how we do it. I bet most of us never even knew that some hospital systems have elected boards, or that it made a smidgen of difference to anybody who was on those boards. But we just found out — the hard way — that it DOES matter, it makes a BIG difference, a life or death difference.
Many of our friends and relatives paid for our education with their lives.
It wasn’t always this way. But we forgot about service to the community, and were too distracted, too busy serving ourselves, and too focused on chasing our own opportunities and serving our own families and social groups. Parasites infected the social systems while we were looking the other way.
Now, we are going to have to claw back every little beautification board and neighborhood planning committee in our local communities. Let’s follow the great example set by this Sarasota group. So pick something and get to work. Retired C&Cers, this is your call to action.
Since the WaPo refused to link any of the candidates’ websites, I’m doing it: [healthfreedomsrq.com – Health Freedom SRQ](https://healthfreedomsrq.com). If someone can let my office know where to donate, I’d like to give an amount ending in a ‘$2’ to each candidate, and I’ll be happy to include the links in tomorrow’s post as unofficial multipliers.