Saturday, May 9, 2020

The Fugitive

Well as the under-utilized naval ship sailed away from the harbor (whosever idea that was showed how tax payer dollars are abused that one was it) to the temporary closing (as in still set up but not being used) Javitz Center and the tents of the Salvation Army or whatever weird fucking religious crew run by homophobe Franklin Graham on public lands, which could have been used well for the public to go while being locked down, get folded up we are back to just the overworked and underprepared/supplied public hospitals, and those private ones stocked by Warren Buffet, to treat the  new/next/more Covid patients. The ones in the prisons or in Convents, nursing homes well you will be fine if no one notices you are dead.  And well even those on the Subway, again wondering how many hours those bodies were there shedding viruses or whatever caused them to die.  Remember if you are not tested POS for Covid and you die you die of that but still are likely counted as dead by Covid, maybe or maybe not. Who knows?  Does anyone care?  Well apparently law enforcement does.

I had read about arrests, chases and hunts of others in other less democratic countries who had escaped Covid treatment facilities; such as the woman in Chile, Russia, India , Africa and even Israel. 

When I read this article in the Tennessean about a homeless man who "escaped" the Covid facility from the fairgrounds (where I lived only about a mile away) and was set up exclusively for homeless it again made me wonder who was being treated at the varying satellite facilities in New York and New Jersey. Something tells me not the insured or the white but what do I know? Well nothing as they don't tell you shit screaming HIPAA laws. Well wrong again.

Yes folks buried in the article was the policy regarding HIPAA and the ruling on public safety (of which there are many guidelines) .  Good times as this is what I had been looking for when I tried to explain to someone that HIPAA does not apply in the case of COVID as it is highly infectious and back in the day during the height of the AIDS crisis that debate raged as it was believed solely blood born and sexually transmitted.  Then came the Ryan White story and the affect on the blood supply and well game on and hence the law in New York that if you have had sex in the last 6 months you cannot donate blood despite that all blood regardless of donors sexual history is tested for any disease including AIDS.  That is called the work-around. And of course with Covid that is contagious via close contact,  the same way but without sex, meaning that coughing, sneezing, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea,  heavy sweat (as in a fever) makes this virus virulent and highly transmittable.  No it is not again in the air like measles, whooping cough or TB all by coming into contact via the air.  Covid is  flu like and that means close prolonged contact.  So keep moving and when out wash your hands immediately upon returning from those essential errands, then clean the surfaces that anything you brought in touched and dispose of those items, toss the gloves, the mask in the trash or in turn wash your mask after wearing and then finally clean your skin, such as a face or exposed areas again to eliminate any potential infection.  But no the virus is not floating in the air in the same way airborne diseases are unless again in a confined space.. you know the ones I keep mentioning.  But if you live in an apartment or home with others they have to follow the exact same protocol which means intense cleaning and agreement on that policy and good luck with that.  You might want to escape too.

I am all for my civil rights being ignored in a public health crisis and in a state of emergency, again 9/11 anyone. And that little office that housed ex-patriot Edward Snowden, is an example of what they did in the surveillance state. We have the capability and technology, Stingray's anyone?  All available to monitor and track and trace people. So to have corporations such as Google and Apple come up with an App for that, I say no thanks.  Sorry but no. They are already underfire for either not providing or providing such information to law enforcement to use at their discretion and those cases of SWAT arriving at doors and taking down bad guys has worked out so well or not. What.ever. you decide.  And that is the problem, the lack of consistency, oversight, regulations and other issues that well ended up with stop and frisk, the drug wars and the new Jim Crow and the incarcerations of black men. It ends up with immigrants being detained for no actual crime and of course just innocent people getting caught in the crossfire.  So no thanks on that one.

I don't take my phone anywhere.  I have a daily journal that I mark where I go and what I did that day and in turn most likely would provide that info if asked but most likely I would also tell the usual suspects whom I do contact regularly what my status is.  I also would do the testing at a private physician to speed up the results and also keep them private as unless I go to a hospital as it is a need to know basis and who needs to know?  I also know that as I am single, a woman and without an advocate I would be shoved onto a ventilator or put in some satellite facility as I don't have health insurance.  So yes death panels do exist.   It is also why the journal along with all my directives, will and the like sits on my desk.  I have no ICE and there is no need as I am quite clear and there can be no confusion with it clearly marked and dated.  It is also notarized and updated annually.  So I have learned first hand how neglectful and abusive hospitals are.  Ask me about my experience at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle in 2012. They treated me like animal and I will never cheer medical personnel for as long as I live as a result.

Why this is so bad is  because right now no one is tracking, testing or tracing.  A woman here in Jersey City died from a heart attack brought on by an asthma attack; she originally was turned away from a hospital as she did not exhibit ALL of the symptoms(as if anyone does), got worse and by the time she returned to the same facility she was too ill and died.  Her death is listed as the result of a heart attack. Okay then, as she was never tested even in post mortem and yet since that time 9 others in her same building have all tested positive, a sort of mini hot zone if you will.  None of them knew about the other and there you go and the building was not cleaned or even touched to reduce the spread from day one.. at least in my building where we "know" of three units none of the staff knew until after and they are pissed, one quit.  So there you go. So much for public safety. Again the virus from symptoms to actual affects on the body varies and so if you are in at "at risk" group you should be tested immediately if one symptom is present, not because of a checklist, and in turn if you have other health issues immediately put on a 24-48 hour watch (many times it is week two when all hell breaks lose)  and that can be at a satellite facility with close contact upon release to ensure you are receiving appropriate, contactless care and in turn tested upon having no symptoms. That has not happened and again if it has what are the numbers for those cases and the results?

So why would you not escape as you aint' getting shit. And neither are we.  And I would be happy to allow these facilities or organizations and hotels that are open of these kind of business to be available to treat all kinds of COVID patients and the like if they are just that, equipped, trained and able to do so.  Not so sure about that either as if you are short of PPE, etc then what do they have and are they able to do anything but handle the most minor of cases and if they do code then what?  So if this is about public safety and tax dollars we have the right to know and HIPAA has allowed us that much so cough it up... pun intended.

Tennessee, Nashville health officials provide names of those testing positive for coronavirus to police

Natalie Allison and Yihyun Jeong, Nashville
 Tennessean May 8, 2020

Gov. Bill Lee says the state's release to police departments and sheriff's offices the names and addresses of Tennesseans who have tested positive for the coronavirus is necessary to protect officers' lives — information that is also being independently shared between city health officials and police in Nashville.

Lee told reporters at Second Harvest Food Bank in Nashville on Friday the details are only for those working "from a law enforcement standpoint" to know who has tested positive.

"We believe that that's appropriate to protect the lives of law enforcement," Lee said when asked why police need the information

The Tennessee Lookout, a new nonprofit news organization, first reported the agreement between local law enforcement agencies and the state Department of Health, which is releasing the information.

The agencies receiving lists from the state of individuals who have contracted the coronavirus include the Knoxville Police Department, the Nashville Airport Authority, the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office and dozens more.
Nashville health officials share coronavirus patient data with police, fire officials

Separately, in Nashville, the Metro Health Department confirmed to The Tennessean Friday that officials have been providing to the Metro Nashville Police Department the addresses of people who have tested positive or are quarantined for COVID-19.

The data is inputted into the police department's computer system so that any officer who has contact with an individual who has tested positive for the virus can take additional precautions, Metro Health spokesperson Brian Todd said.

Metro police spokesman Don Aaron said in a similar statement the department uses the information so officers can "take additional precautions."

The information is also put into the Department of Emergency Communications dispatch system so that fire and EMS workers responding to an address can take steps to use increased personal protective equipment and distancing protocols.

“At no time is this data shared with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or the Davidson County Sheriff's Office,” Todd said in a statement.

In a statement, Cooper spokesperson Chris Song reiterated Todd's comments, and said the information is "safely kept" among Metro agencies.

"We are taking necessary precautions to protect both our first responders and our residents, including those who are part of Nashville’s diverse immigrant communities," Song said, adding officials are communicating with community partners that the information will not be shared with federal immigration authorities.

"As Mayor Cooper has stated repeatedly, everyone deserves to feel safe in our community, including our front line personnel and the valued members of our immigrant communities," he said in a statement.

Though the data isn’t not shared with the sheriff's office, the health department said if a police officer arrests a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, they will inform sheriff's personnel when releasing them into their custody.

All public safety personnel have been noticed that the information cannot be publicly released and is for “official use only,” Todd and Aaron said. Unauthorized use is a violation of Metro police policy.

The information is updated regularly, and once a person has recovered from COVID-19, they are removed from the list.

According to the Tennessee Department of Health, as of Friday 68 police chiefs and sheriffs have signed on to a memorandum of understanding that they will receive a running list of names and addresses of individuals in Tennessee "documented as having tested positive, or received treatment for COVID-19."

The list is updated for law enforcement each day, the MOU states, and individuals' names are removed from the list after 30 days.

Metro police and the Davidson County Sheriff's Office have no plans to move into an agreement with the state, according to both Aaron and Todd.

Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee, criticized the policy's impact on privacy and said it's more important for law enforcement “Protecting the health of first responders is certainly an important priority. However, as public health experts have noted, disclosing names and addresses of positive cases does not protect first responders, as many people have not been tested and many people who do carry the virus are asymptomatic," Weinberg said in a statement.

"Disclosing the personal information of individuals who will never have contact with law enforcement raises fundamental concerns about privacy without yielding a significant public health benefit. It is incumbent that any government policy implemented during the pandemic be grounded in science and public health and be no more intrusive on civil liberties than absolutely necessary."

The Tennessee Immigration and Refugee Rights Coalition has worked during the pandemic to reduce barriers preventing immigrants statewide from getting care and have formally partnered with Metro Nashville and other organizations to increase more community outreach.

In a statement posted on Twitter Friday, TIRRC said the state's policy to share information with law enforcement should be “rescinded immediately.”

“This completely undermines all of the work organizations like ours are doing to encourage people to go get tested. This will exacerbate the public health crisis,” TIRRC said.

The group did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Nashville's policy.

Lee said Friday the state was providing this information to law enforcement agencies in compliance with guidelines put forth by the federal Department of Health and Human Services.

A document published by DHHS' Office for Civil Rights states the HIPAA Privacy Rule permits an entity like a health department to release protected health information to first responders "to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the health and safety of a person or the public."

Shelley Walker, spokesperson fro the Tennessee Department of Health, said in a statement the department "believes these disclosures are necessary to avert a serious threat to health or safety."

More than 14,000 people in Tennessee have tested positive for the virus.

Lee defended the information only being made available to law enforcement and not other front-line workers, such as grocery store employees who also must interact with possible coronavirus patients, by saying that officers are "required to come into contact with these people.

"We know that first responders are required to and law enforcement are required to come into contact with these people as part of their job," Lee said. "That's why Health and Human Services gave that guidance to states and that’s why we're implementing that." to focus on offering officers proper protective gear as a way to keep them safe.

“Protecting the health of first responders is certainly an important priority. However, as public health experts have noted, disclosing names and addresses of positive cases does not protect first responders, as many people have not been tested and many people who do carry the virus are asymptomatic," Weinberg said in a statement.

"Disclosing the personal information of individuals who will never have contact with law enforcement raises fundamental concerns about privacy without yielding a significant public health benefit. It is incumbent that any government policy implemented during the pandemic be grounded in science and public health and be no more intrusive on civil liberties than absolutely necessary."

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