Tag Archives: hurricane

Wednesday Evening News Roundup

Wednesday Evening News Roundup

This is what Sandy looked like from New York City.

Do you remember that I mentioned that there was this plant, in New England, that made an injectable steroid compound? That compound got infected with a fungus that I’d never heard of before. The number of deaths from this infection is now 28. There’ve been 377 infections. Again, let me say, we need more not less government oversight in order to prevent things like this from happening again.

Every now and then, in this 24/7, gotcha media environment that we live, in people get on camera that shouldn’t. People simply get airtime who shouldn’t be given the time of day. For reasons that are unclear, somebody decided to interview Michael “heckuva job” Brown about FEMA’s response to hurricane Sandy. Michael Brown thought that the Obama administration was “premature.” Basically, they operated too fast. In our society, there are some people that should be seen and not heard. (To be honest, some people should not be seen or heard.)

Today, was the first time I’d heard in conjunction with Hurricane Sandy a real discussion about climate change. Look for Fox News push back tomorrow.

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I’m not sure what to make out of Mitt Romney’s latest ad that is airing in Ohio. Basically, the ad suggests that Jeep, a subsidiary of Chrysler, is shipping jobs to China.

This was completely discussed in the WaPo

Here’s what Romney said last Thursday in Ohio: “I saw a story today that one of the great manufacturers in this state, Jeep, now owned by the Italians, is thinking of moving all production to China. I will fight for every good job in America, I’m going to fight to make sure trade is fair.”

This was completely wrong. Bloomberg News had reported that Fiat, the majority owner of Chrysler, was planning to once again start building Jeeps in China, after production had been on hold since 2009.

The article made clear that Chrysler was was “adding Jeep production sites rather than shifting output from North America to China,” but some blogs, such as the Washington Examiner’s Washington Secrets,misinterpreted the article and reported: “Jeep, the rugged brand President Obama once said symbolized American freedom, is considering giving up on the United States and shifting production to China.”

After Romney made his comments, Chrysler issued a statement firmly denying that any North American production was being moved to China:

“Jeep has no intention of shifting production of its Jeep models out of North America to China. It’s simply reviewing the opportunities to return Jeep output to China for the world’s largest auto market. U.S. Jeep assembly lines will continue to stay in operation. A careful and unbiased reading of the Bloomberg take would have saved unnecessary fantasies and extravagant comments.”

In response, a Romney spokesman explained: “The larger point that the governor made is that rather than creating jobs here, the foreign owner, handpicked by President Obama, is planning to add jobs overseas.”

This is a strange bit of spin, given that all international automakers build cars in other overseas markets. In this case, one could argue it is a sign of the company’s growing strength that it is returning to a major overseas market that it had abandoned. (Moreover, Chrysler is planning to add to its Jeep workforce in the United States in 2013.)

Hurricane Sandy Wallops the Northeast

This is just a little teeny blog. When we have a major disaster like Hurricane Sandy, a small blog like this can’t really cover the full scope of this hurricane (now downgraded below a tropical storm). I like to emphasize three things that have happened during this terrible weather event. I’m not saying that these are the most important. I’m just going to focus on these three things.

NYU Langone Medical Center (their web site it down) ran out of power. For some reason, which is not clear from the report, their backup power did not work either. 215 patients were evacuated to nearby area hospitals. This is an incredibly complex move. Some patients are on ventilators. Some patients are on isolation. Trying to get the right amount of information to the receiving hospitals and the receiving physicians is a nightmare. The whole hospital was evacuated. This is not to mention that most hospitals are running a census of 90-99% capacity. No major hospital sitting around with a bunch of open ICU beds. The logistics of trying to figure out how to get nurses to take care of those patients, as well as other ancillary personnel including respiratory therapists, is out of this world. From the written reports it appears that all went well. Hundreds of medical personnel should be congratulated.

Prior to Hurricane Sandy, Mitt Romney was fond of saying that we need to take the funds for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and let the states take over that responsibility. As a matter fact, he said that we need to figure out ways to get that responsibility back to the private sector. As far as I know, the private sector is all about making money. There’s not a lot of money to be made out of disaster relief. Who is going to pay the private sector? The government? Oops. That’s big government deciding winners and losers, again. The victims? The people whose houses are literally underwater? Hurricane Sandy is a big disaster. It needs a coordinated response. As a trauma surgeon, I know a little about disaster relief. Disasters require a large coordinated effort between federal, state, local and private entities in order to get the job done. That’s a system that we have now. It’s a system that has slowly grown over the last 100 years. We’ve tried all kinds of other systems. They’ve all fallen short. This is the best way to take care of Americans in the time of a disaster.

Although we’ve heard a lot about Hurricane Sandy, it seems that everybody is going out of their way not to mention anything about – global warming. With increased CO2 in the atmosphere, computer models suggested weird weather. We were going to see more, bigger and better hurricane events. The science is pretty clear. I’ve talked about it at length. I talked about the various ways in which scientists have come to the same conclusion. Right now, it is politically incorrect to say that Hurricane Sandy, a once-in-a-lifetime event, was completely predicted by those who follow global warming – climate change secondary to man burning fossil fuels.