As the flu ravishes the United States of America, my dear wife, who's in the medical field, keeps speaking of shortages of medicines made in Puerto Rico. Not just medicines, mind you, but simple Saline Solution. She's been telling me this for weeks...
Opened up the laptop yesterday to a deluge of articles on the very subject:
Snopes - Snopes verified that this problem had been rumored on Social Media for a while.
If you do a simple google search, you'll see that the first wave of reporting on the saline bag shortage happened in the Fall, immediately after Hurricane Maria. There was no run on saline bags in the Fall, but this weekend the flu epidemic has been upgraded to Severe in 49 of the 50 states in America. (Not in Hawaii.) Meaning there is a run on saline bags now, basically, everywhere in the country.
Hawaii is having its own problems.
Puerto Rico is estimated to be without power in 50% of the territory, some students haven't been back to school since the hurricane and Puerto Rico is still...well, a mess. The Washington Post has been beating the drum that Puerto Rico needs help for months. Instead of helping Puerto Rico rebuild its infrastructure, America has been dragging its feet, blaming the inefficiencies of Territory Government instead of spearheading the movement to help the island. Now that you find out that Puerto Rico manufactures saline bags and it affects you and me, now there's a problem.
This is where politics comes in (and again, we're using oversimplifications for the sake of brevity).
The Democrat says: We need to help everyone. Okay, where does that money come from?
The Republican says: We need to help those that help us. Okay, that is about the opposite of religion.
I say: You need to prioritize. Meaning?
Since this is my blog, and I've been waiting for an excuse to lay this philosophy out, here we go.
Since the Cold War, America has been meddling in just about every other nation's business in the whole world. Sometimes rightly, sometimes wrongly. We aren't going to re-hash America's relationship with every other nation, here's where our priorities need to lay going forward.
Priority #1: The United States and its Territories
What is happening in Puerto Rico is an abomination. That country is begging us for help. On June 11, 2017, Puerto Rico voted to become the 51st State of the Union by a 95% or so margin. Forget about saline bags for a moment, we are Puerto Rico and Puerto Rico is us. You might argue that the only reason Puerto Rico voted to become a state is to defer their crippling debt. Then I'd reply... And?
Priority #2: Canada and Mexico
If you build the wall, someone will just tear it down, 5, 10, 25 years later. You are wasting money. Violence in Mexico is why Trump wants a wall. Instead of a wall, we need to give Mexico our assistance, if they ask. (For Soccer purposes, we hate Mexico. For National Security purposes, Mexico needs to be one of our best friends.)
Priority #3 Allies
Historical allies such as France, Great Britain, and Brazil need to continue to be our friends.
Priority #4: North America
Haiti and El Salvador need to be helped by America, not ignored by America
Priority #5 Everyone Else
America needs to understand that if they fix their own problems, other countries will want to emulate us. From the North Pole to the Panama Canal, if the United States can fix the problems of North America, populations across the planet will ask their own governments: Why can't we be more like the U.S.? Foreign aid and foreign resources need to be refocused by the above priorities, including pulling military resources out of nearly all countries outside of North America.
Remember, all leaders across the world want their own sovereignty.
Today, January 14, 2018, Donald Trump is the President:
His Grade for dealing with Puerto Rico so far? F
His Grade for dealing with Pakistan so far? A
What you need as a country is a philosophy that is bigger than the office of the President.
What was the point again? Oh yeah, a shortage in saline bags.
My wife also gave me a heads up on shortages on other medicines, such as Lidocaine, confirmed by the American Society of Hospital Pharmacists.
Complete ASHP Shortage List (1-14-18)
For the record, by the time you read this, I could be dead. I can't get the flu shot,
I had Guillain–Barré syndrome.