Connect with us


Tensions over vaccine equity pit rural and urban America against one another.



Tensions over vaccine equity pit rural and urban America against one another.

Tensions over vaccine equity pit rural and urban America against one another.

Rita Fentress was concerned that she might get lost while looking for a coronavirus vaccine on an obscure forested, one-lane road in rural Tennessee. The trees then cleared, exposing the Hickman County Agricultural Pavilion.

Since there were too many health care staff to vaccinate in Nashville, where she lives, the 74-year-old woman was not willing to be vaccinated. However, a friend told her that the state’s rural counties had already switched to younger age groups, and she made a 60-mile appointment.

“I felt a little bad about it,” she admitted. “I was afraid I was stealing it from someone else.” However, she said there were still five openings for the next morning late that February day.

The US vaccine initiative has heightened tensions between rural and urban America, with complaints of actual — or alleged — inequity in vaccine delivery surfacing from Oregon to Tennessee to upstate New York.

Recriminations about how scarce vaccines are delivered have taken on political tones in some cases, with rural Republican lawmakers in Democrat-led states accusing Democrats of “picking winners and losers” and urbanites driving hours to rural GOP-leaning areas to get COVID-19 shots when their city is out of supply.

Last week, Republican legislators in Oregon walked out of a legislative session over the Democratic governor’s vaccine proposals, citing rural vaccine delivery as one of their key concerns. Rural health officials in upstate New York have complained about vaccine distribution inequalities, and rural lawmakers in North Carolina say too many doses are going to mass vaccine centers in big cities.

A shortage of shots in urban areas with the largest concentration of health care staff has caused senior citizens in Tennessee, Missouri, and Alabama to book appointments hours away from their homes. As a result, there is a patchwork of approaches that can appear to be the polar opposite of equity, with those most likely to be vaccinated being those who have the savvy and resources to find a shot and travel to it.

“It’s badly flawed,” said Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Protection, who added that there are also vaccine hunters who can find a dose for a fee. “Ideally, allocations will suit the needs of the population.”

With little more than general guidance from the federal government, states have taken it upon themselves to decide what it means to distribute the vaccine fairly and reach vulnerable populations.

Tennessee, like many states, has divvied up doses based primarily on county population, not on how many residents belong to eligible groups — such as health care workers. The Tennessee health commissioner has defended the allocation as the “most equitable,” but the approach has also exposed yet another layer of haves and have-nots as the vaccine rollout accelerates.

In Oregon, the issue led state officials to pause dose deliveries in some rural areas that had finished inoculating their health care workers while clinics elsewhere, including the Portland metro area, caught up. The dust-up last month prompted an angry response, with some state GOP lawmakers accusing the Democratic governor of playing favorites with the urban dwellers who elected her.

Public health leaders in Morrow County, a farming region in northeastern Oregon with one of the highest COVID-19 infection rates, said they had to delay two vaccine clinics because of the state’s decision. Other rural counties delayed vaccines for seniors.

States face plenty of challenges. Rural counties are less likely to have the deep-freeze equipment necessary to store Pfizer vaccines. Health care workers are often concentrated in big cities. And rural counties were particularly hard hit by COVID-19 in many states, but their residents are among the most likely to say they’re “definitely not” going to get vaccinated, according to recent Kaiser Family Foundation polling.

Adalja said most of these complications were foreseeable and could have been avoided with proper planning and funding.

“There are people who know how to do this,” he said. “They’re just not in charge of it.”

In Missouri, where Facebook groups have emerged with postings about appointment availabilities in rural areas, state Senate Minority Leader John Rizzo, a Democrat from the Kansas City suburb of Independence, cited a need to direct more vaccine to urban areas.

The criticism drew an angry rebuke from Republican Gov. Mike Parson, who said vaccine distribution has been proportional to the population and critics are using “cherry-picked” data.

“There is no division between rural and urban Missouri,” Parson said during his weekly COVID-19 update last week.

In Republican-led Tennessee, Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey notes that the Trump administration deemed the state’s plan among the nation’s most equitable. Extra doses go to 35 counties with a high social vulnerability index score — many small and rural, but also Shelby County, which includes Memphis, with a large Black population.

Last week, state officials revealed some 2,400 doses had been wasted in Shelby County over the past month due to miscommunication and insufficient record-keeping. The county also built up nearly 30,000 excessive doses in its inventory. The situation caused the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to investigate and the county health director to resign.

In Nashville, Democratic Mayor John Cooper says the fact that city residents can get shots elsewhere is a positive, even if the road trips are “a little bit of a pain.”

“I’m grateful that other counties have not said, ‘Oh my gosh, you have to be a resident of this county always to get the vaccine,’” Cooper said.

Nashville educators Jennifer Simon and Jessica Morris took sick days last week to make the four-hour round-trip to tiny Van Buren County, population less than 6,000.

They got their first shots there in January, when Republican Gov. Bill Lee was pushing Nashville and Memphis area schools to return to in-person classes. Republican lawmakers even threatened to pull funding from districts that remained online.

In-person classes started a couple weeks ago, but the city only began vaccinating teachers last week.

“It was scary, frustrating, and feeling really betrayed,” Simon said.


MN Supreme Court revives lockdown lawsuit, sets high bar for businesses to get compensation



MN Supreme Court revives lockdown lawsuit, sets high bar for businesses to get compensation

A lawsuit challenging Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz’s pandemic lockdown orders is alive for now, but faces tough odds as it heads back to the district court that initially dismissed the case.

The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the lower court incorrectly dismissed the case and it should have determined whether Walz’s lockdown orders under the peacetime emergency constituted a taking over or “commandeering” of private businesses.

Carvin Buzzell Jr. owns a wedding venue and a restaurant near Milaca in Millie Lacs County. He filed a lawsuit in June 2020 against the governor claiming the restrictions put in place under the state’s COVID-19 response amounted to a takeover of his businesses.

Buzzell sought more than $40,000 for the government “commandeering” his businesses.

A district court granted a motion by the governor’s legal team to dismiss the lawsuit. An appellate panel upheld the decision with both courts finding Buzzell’s claims didn’t meet the definition of commandeering.

State Supreme Court Justice Paul Thissen wrote in his opinion that rather than dismiss the case the lower court should have decided whether the lockdown orders amounted to taking control of private property.

Thissen set a high bar in his opinion, writing: “We conclude that, for property to be commandeered, the government must exercise exclusive control over or obtain exclusive possession of the property such that the government could physically use it for an emergency management purpose.”

Attorney General Keith Ellison praised the decision, saying that it gave a clear and narrow definition of what state law considered commandeering private property.

“This is a good result for Minnesota,” Ellison said in a statement. “This common-sense ruling is important not only for the decisions Governor Walz took to save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic, but important for every governor who may face any kind of life-threatening emergency in the future.”

Buzzell’s attorney Steven Anderson also saw the ruling in a positive light.

“It leaves a door open for us,” Anderson said. “We’re off the mat and we are swinging.”

Anderson added that the initial lawsuit didn’t challenge Walz’s authority to impose restrictions, but it claimed that government had to pay property owners if they exert control over their property.

He acknowledged that Buzzell had not decided if he would continue the case, but they were glad the court left “a path forward.”

“It is going to be an interesting battle,” Anderson said.

Continue Reading


Is Operation Mincemeat A True Story



Is Operation Mincemeat A True Story

Operation Mincemeat, a historical drama based on the British Intelligent services; is released in UK cinemas, and it aims to tell us the true story of a successful World War 2 fraud mission.

Several elements of the plot, from the plan to the involvement of Ian Fleming, seem a bit imaginary to be based on real occurrences. It may shock many viewers that the plot features a carcass with a fake identity and an attache with fake documents. For the major part, the movie is a true representation of the process with a couple of required alterations.

Based On A True Story?

Yes, Operation Mincemeat is a real mission and is lauded as one of the most victorious deceptions made in the history of the military as shown in the film, a couple of members of the British intelligence services, Matthew Macfadyen (Charles Cholmondeley) and Colin Firth (Ewen Montagu acquire a corpse that will use to fool their German rivals into thinking an allied onslaught on Greece was looming.

After forming a whole persona for a fake captain, they dressed the corpse as a Royal Marine office. It included the letter making a connection with the fictional attack.

 34-year-old dead body of Glyndwr Michael, who moved from London to Wales and died after eating rat poison, his real identity was kept hidden from the public until 1996, but it was fabricated and represented as a corpse of a dead marine, Major William Martin. The attache had a photo of a Major Martin’s fiancee, a receipt for a ring, and a theatre ticket. It was all sowed to prove authenticity. As the Spanish found the marine’s corpse and the suitcase with the belongings; they scrambled to convince the Nazis to confine documents to reality.

Did It Work?

The Spanish document was recovered and sent sent to Adolf Hitler. He ordered the nazi troops to defend the territory and in July 1943, the Nazis got off guard; and 160,000 allied troops invaded Sicily and took control in a month. The British received a telegram mentioning, “Mincemeat swallowed rod, line, and sinker”.

1652984888 179 Is Operation Mincemeat A True Story


As it is a controversial movie, Netflix only got the license to release it in six regions the USA, Mexico, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, and Ecuador.

There is no news on whether Operation Mincemeat will come to other regions or not in the future. Warner Bros holds the rights to the countries mentioned above; 2 years after the theatrical run, Netflix gets the streaming license from Warner Brothers.

We highly recommend this masterpiece of a movie to viewers; as it shows how a fabricated dead body duped the cruelest historian; and how it changed the destiny of the war.


It has a runtime of 2 hours 8 minutes.

The post Is Operation Mincemeat A True Story appeared first on Gizmo Story.

Continue Reading


Wild are Kirill Kaprizov’s team now. ‘He’s a superstar,’ GM says.



Wild are Kirill Kaprizov’s team now. ‘He’s a superstar,’ GM says.

Kirill Kaprizov felt it every time he hopped over the boards. After signing an unprecedented 5-year, $45 million contract with the Wild last offseason, Kaprizov went a couple of weeks without finding the back of the net, and knew the fans were none too pleased with his lack of production.

“It started slow,” Kaprizov said through a translator this week. “Some people hated me in the beginning.”

Hated? Really?

“I think couple games, no?” he said in English. “I think people want to see me score goals.”

Though it’s fair to assume nobody actually hated him, it’s neither here nor there at this point. Not after Kaprizov put together the best individual season in franchise history, setting records in 2021-22 with 47 goals, 61 assists and 108 points.

He already is an NHL superstar at 25 years old. Just don’t tell him that.

“Maybe you think I’m superstar,” Kaprizov said in English. “I don’t think like that.”

Everyone else does, including general manager Bill Guerin, who has seen his fair share .

“He’s a superstar,” Guerin said. “I don’t know what his ceiling is.”

No one does. Because it’s so high.

From the moment Kaprizov finally scored his first goal of the season during a Nov. 2 win over the Ottawa Senators, he showed no signs of slowing down. He was a cheat code on the ice, using his incredible edges to create space out of nowhere and his laser beam of a shot to befuddle opposing goaltenders.

All the while Kaprizov showed a propensity to step up in the biggest moments. As coach Dean Evason noted many times this season, it’s not like Kaprizov was padding his stats in garbage time of a blowout win or loss.

“He’s unbelievable,” Evason said a couple of weeks ago during the first round of the playoffs. “It’d be nice to have 20 of them.”

If the Wild actually had 20 clones of Kirill Kaprizov, they would win the Stanley Cup running away. He’s that good.

Instead, the Wild are watching the rest of the playoffs from home after falling 4-2 to the St. Louis Blues in the first round.

“Very disappointing,” Kaprizov said through a translator. “You still don’t really believe that it’s over.”

It wasn’t for a lack of effort on Kaprizov’s part. He was outstanding throughout the first round, scoring seven goals in six games.

It was a much better output from Kaprizov compared to last playoffs when he struggled mightily in the first round against the Vegas Golden Knights That was on his mind heading into this playoff.

“It was something near the end of the season I was thinking about more,” Kaprizov said through a translator. “I definitely wanted to focus more. Just getting the right mindset to have a really good run and put my best foot forward. I definitely felt like I met the moment.”

No doubt about it. His most impressive performance of this playoffs came in Game 5 when he took over the game with a pair of goals before the Wild fell apart down the stretch.

“He tried putting this team on his back,” Guerin said. “He literally tried to put this team on his back and carry them, like, ‘You know what guys? I got it. Follow me.’ He’s become a big-time leader on our team.”

It wasn’t enough. No matter how hard he tried, Kaprizov couldn’t carry the Wild into the second round. Not by himself.

“We obviously need to improve,” Kaprizov said through a translator. “Each player can learn from their mistakes. We will definitely gain experience from this. Obviously we want to do better.”

There’s reason to believe the Wild will be better moving forward. Especially with Kaprizov leading the charge.

In the meantime, though, Kaprizov plans to head back to his native Russia this offseason. He’s excited to spend time with family and friends, do some traveling around the country and start preparing for next season.

As for the fans who supposedly hated him, Kaprizov is feeling the love now.

“They’ve been great,” Kaprizov said through a translator. “They’re the reasons I’m here. Just the other day we were at a team event at a restaurant and we had a bunch of people come over. Someone who spoke Russian came over to me and we had a chat .I love the fans. Any chance I get a chance to see them, I make sure I make time for them.”

Continue Reading