Here's some potentially VERY good economic news that was lost amid the weekend news flurry.  Those…
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Some Potentially VERY Good Economic News

Here's some potentially VERY good economic news that was lost amid the weekend news flurry.  Those with "skin in the game," and who likely possess the best perspective, are betting heavily on an upturn, as highlighted by Friday's Wall Street Journal:

Corporate insiders are buying stock in their own companies at a pact not seen in years, a sign they are betting on a rebound after a coronavirus-induced rout.  More than 2,800 executives and directors have purchased nearly $1.19 billion in company stock since the beginning of March.  That's the third-highest level on both an individual and dollar basis since 1988, according to the Washington Service, which provides data analytics about trading activity by insiders."

Here's why that's important:

Because insiders typically know the…[more]

March 30, 2020 • 11:02 am

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Germs Multiply While CDC Fiddles Print
By Betsy McCaughey
Wednesday, June 01 2016
The agency is MIA on the need for rigorous cleaning and screening incoming patients for superbugs.

Federal officials are predicting doom because a Pennsylvania woman became infected with a germ that can't be stopped by most antibiotics. "The medicine cabinet is empty for some patients," warned Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Thomas Frieden last week. You'd think the CDC was finally ready to get serious about drug-resistant infections. Think again. The CDC watched "super-bugs" spread across the nation, and dawdled. Centers for Denial and Confusion is more like it.

The Pennsylvania woman's infection is resistant to a last-resort antibiotic called colistin. This is the first case, as far as we know, of an infection resistant to colistin in the U.S., but thousands of patients die every year from infections resistant to more commonly used antibiotics.

As antibiotics lose their punch, medical care becomes riskier, especially in hospitals. Patients who need chemotherapy or surgery rely on antibiotics. Without them, even a routine procedure — bypass surgery or C-section — could turn deadly.

The medical community has struggled with drug-resistance for half a century. There's no avoiding it. Bacteria naturally evolve to resist weapons we use to fight them.

CRE — carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae — have plagued New York area hospitals for 15 years. CRE bloodstream infections have a 50 percent death rate. In 2011, a New York patient transferred to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, carried the germ with her, starting an outbreak that killed several patients, including a 16-year-old boy. Yet the CDC waited until 2013 to sound the alarm about this "nightmare bacteria." And has done little since.

Three aggressive steps are needed to protect patients, but the CDC has gotten serious about only one: curbing over-use of antibiotics. The agency is MIA on the need for rigorous cleaning and screening incoming patients for superbugs.

Reducing antibiotic use can only do so much, because the problem is global. In countries like India, antibiotics are as easy to buy as candy. No prescription needed. Patients then come to American hospitals bringing the drug-resistant bacteria with them.

Plus, simply curbing antibiotic use doesn't stop patients from getting most infections in the first place and has barely made a dent in death rates in hospitals. Nearly 75,000 patients die from infections in U.S. hospitals each year. To stop this carnage, hospitals need to clean up.

Shockingly, your risk of getting an infection often depends on your hospital room number. If a previous patient in that room had a superbug, you're in danger. The previous patient's germs are still lurking on the bedrail and privacy curtain.

Half the surfaces in a hospital room are overlooked by cleaning staff. There are technologies to overcome this human error — robotic hydrogen peroxide misters, UV light machines and newer devices that operate 24/7 to disinfect a room with no risk to patients. But the CDC drags its feet about recommending them.

So, if you're visiting someone in the hospital, skip the flowers. Instead bring bleach wipes and clean surfaces around their bed. You could save a life.

The CDC 's failure to call for screening incoming patients defies reason. During the AIDS crisis, the CDC recommended testing all patients for AIDS. Why not superbugs? Hospital infections kill four times as many people. And contracting AIDS is difficult, but picking up a hospital germ is as easy as touching the call button.

New screening tools can detect superbugs in minutes, instead of old-fashioned cultures that take three days. As a result, patients who test positive for a superbug can be whisked into a single room to stop their germs from spreading.

Using a new, FDA approved test, Washington, D.C.-area hospitals screened patients and found more than 5 percent unknowingly carry deadly CRE germs. That shows the urgent need to make screening routine.

The intractable infection in Pennsylvania is a wake-up call. Patients and advocates need to demand aggressive infection-prevention in hospitals. We have the tools to eradicate these infections. What is lacking is the will.

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Betsy McCaughey is chairman of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths and a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research and author of "Government by Choice: Inventing the United States Constitution."
COPYRIGHT © 2016 CREATORS.COM

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Quote of the Day   
 
"New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called on the federal government to take control of the medical supply market. Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker demanded that President Trump take charge and said 'precious months' were wasted waiting for federal action. Some critics are even more direct in demanding a federal takeover, including a national quarantine.It is the legal version of panic shopping. Many seem…[more]
 
 
—Jonathan Turley, George Washington University Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law
— Jonathan Turley, George Washington University Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law
 
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