Health care and politics came together on 23 March 2010 as President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka ACA and Obamacare).
It was “the most expansive social legislation enacted in decades,” according to the New York Times. Perhaps it falls under “most contested” as well. July 2017, Newsweek had “found at least 70 Republican-led attempts to repeal, modify or otherwise curb the Affordable Care Act since its inception as law.”
From a feel-good perspective, 2010 is a highlight. Despite news stories that assert everyone is tired of Covid-19, the virus cares not one whit what we feel, believe or say. Remembering today, two years ago, is important as well.
Russia’s actions in Ukraine have put the world on edge, but there was a time when the USSR and US cooperated in space.
Finally, it is imperative to remember actions leading to WWII as well as those immediately after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Although these events are not directly related to science and technology, they are days we do not want to relive.Health care and politics would collide again 10 years later at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF,” Mr. Trump tweeted in all capital letters shortly before midnight. “AT THE END OF THE 15 DAY PERIOD, WE WILL MAKE A DECISION AS TO WHICH WAY WE WANT TO GO!”
Trump was joined in questioning shelter-in-place orders (designed to protect the health care system with the side effect of slowing the economy) by New York Times columnist Tom Friedman. Friedman amplified a controversial op-ed that ran in StatNews on 17 March. The next day, StatNews published a rebuttal, which doesn’t fit Friedman’s narrative.
There are two options for Covid-19 at the moment: long-term social distancing or overwhelmed health care systems.
Today, states reported 1,009 deaths from Covid-19. From my newsletter of 23 March 2020:
On day 63 since the first case of coronavirus disease was announced in the United States. Johns Hopkins reported 610 deaths and 46,450 cases; state departments of health reported 539 deaths and 44,710 cases.
All 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands have identified COVID-19 cases. The 539 known deaths are from 34 states plus the District of Columbia as well as Guam and Puerto Rico.
Governors in Oregon, Michigan, Virginia and Washington locked down their states on Monday. Some mayors in Western Washington were considering more stringent orders.
Arizona man dies after ingesting chloroquine in an attempt to prevent coronavirus. https://t.co/BG4xyZnKFv
There are no drugs approved to try to prevent or treat the new coronavirus. Self-medicating to prevent the coronavirus can be dangerous and possibly deadly.
— NBC News (@NBCNews) March 23, 2020
Jumping further back in time, on 23 March 2001 the Russian space station Mir ended 15 years in orbit as it reentered Earth’s atmosphere and fell into the South Pacific Ocean in a “controlled deorbit maneuver.” It had been designed for a five-year life.
Mir secured its place in history as the first modular space station that enabled semi-permanent human habitation in low-Earth orbit… The Shuttle-Mir Program saw nine space shuttle missions dock with Mir, and seven American astronauts join their Russian colleagues on long-duration expeditions as the two nations learned to work together in preparation for building and operating the International Space Station (ISS).
On 24 March 1996, storied US astronaut Shannon Lucid began her five-month stay on the Russian space station Mir; she was in space from 22 March to 26 September 1996. She was the first female US astronaut to live in a space station and the only American woman to serve on Mir.
Finally, three important WWII-related events happened on this date as well:
- In 1933, the German Reichstag adopted the Enabling Act (The Law to Remedy the Distress of the People and the Reich). By allowing the Reich government to bypass Germany’s parliament when issuing laws, the Act “effectively granted Adolf Hitler dictatorial powers.”
- In 1942, the US Army evacuated the first Japanese-Americans from their homes to internment camps. “More than 600 aliens and American citizens of Japanese descent assembled before dawn at Pasadena’s Rose Bowl… caravan of 350 autos and trucks left Pasadena for the Army’s new reception center east of the Sierra Nevadas.”
- In addition, Bainbridge Island, Washington, was the first place where the US Army evacuated all civilians of Japanese decent. That order arrived on 23 March 1942.
#scitech, #society, #space, #medicine (062/365)
📷 Obama Library | NASA/Wikimedia | Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial, photos CC Kathy E Gill
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