Sunday, December 6, 2020

As Arkansas Governor and Med School Chancellor Warn We Are at a Critical Point, Arkansas Attorney General Rutledge Tweets Photos of Maskless Gathering


This is Arkansas's Republican attorney general Leslie Rutledge on December 4.

On December 3, Arkansas's Republican governor Asa Hutchinson told the state at a press conference

This is a message to everyone that wherever you are in the state of Arkansas, that there are increased number of COVID cases, an increased level of spread and you have to protect yourself, you have to wear your mask and keep the social distance. And if you can avoid a social gathering over 10, that’s something you should do.

On December 3, the chancellor of Arkansas's medical school and hospital University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences tweeted the following (the link is the start of a thread containing the following statements):

Right now, the @UAMS_COPH COVID-19 forecasts, which have been strikingly accurate so far, indicate that the density of COVID-19 infections exceeds each of our abilities—yours & mine -- to avoid contact with actively infected individuals in our state whenever we venture outside our homes. They predict an exponential increase in coronavirus deaths in the next two weeks, more than we saw in the first four months of the pandemic. We may soon exceed the number of beds, ventilators, & most importantly health care providers required to care for those who are acutely ill in our state, whether they are victims of COVID-19 or critical illnesses like diabetes and heart disease that existed before COVID-19 affected our communities.

We are at a crossroads, working hard to stretch our resources to keep patients alive while at the same time discussing possible locations for a temporary morgue when ours is full, as it was this past weekend.

50 years ago, Richard Manuel of the Band sang these lyrics: "Save your neck/or save your brother/Looks like it’s one or the other." That is not a choice we need to make right now. If we all get super serious about the basic principles of masking, social distancing & avoiding exposure to individuals outside our nuclear families, we can help to protect ourselves and our brothers and sisters. Maybe there is still a chance to avert the worst aspects of the calamity that we see looming in front of us.

Your behavior, individually & collectively, will still make a difference. Exercise your right to be a good citizen in what will otherwise be the darkest winter in our lifetimes.

Because if our trajectory in Arkansas does not change, family funerals may take the place of family celebrations this holiday season. Let’s do everything we can together as Arkansans not to let that happen.

Today, ArkansasCovid tweeted the following:


The week that began with November 30 is the same week in which the Republican AG of Arkansas, Leslie Rutledge, made the tweet at the head of this posting, showing her attending a Republican event with no one wearing a mask or observing social distance. She attended that event and made that tweet one day after the Republican governor of Arkansas told us it is critically important that we wear masks, observe social distance, and avoid gatherings of more than 10 people.

She attended that event and made that tweet one day after the chancellor of our state medical school, who has very close ties to the Republican leaders of the state (or how else would he have gotten his current job?), told us we are reaching a very critical point, that all of us are now likely to be in contact with someone infected if we venture outside our houses.

He also told us that we have a responsibility to our fellow citizens, a responsibility to behave like responsible adults when our actions can radically affect the lives of others — and we will continue to hurtle towards a serious crisis if we do not choose to act like responsible adults.

What difference did any of those adminitions make to Ms. Rutledge and the Republican group that sponsored the gala from which she tweeted photos, one has to ask?

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