I will continue to add updates about J. Bruce Harreld and his illegitimate presidency to this threaded post. If this post scrolls you will be able to find it by clicking the link in the sticky post at the top of the home page. You can also bookmark this post, or search for it using various keywords and phrases, such as Harreld, fraud, co-conspirator, or carpetbagging dilettante.
11/29/20 — The casual disregard with which Iowa’s governor, Kim Reynolds, has consigned so many citizens of the state — many of them elderly, and unable to care for themselves — to a suffocating death, and so many front line healthcare workers to consequent psychological trauma and subsequent ills, can only be described as evil.
From Zach Thompson at the Iowa City Press-Citizen: 45% of Iowa’s COVID deaths attributed to long-term care facilities as 35% report outbreaks.
* Inevitably, as cases spike, there is a point at which they will start to come down even if the government’s response has been incompetent, and that holds true for hospitalizations and deaths. What the press seems to have a hard time with, however, is that these increases and decreases are not like the weather or a stock price. Instead, they are a tally — a toll — and with specific regard to deaths there is never a moment when COVID-19 victims will recover, heal and move on.
Unfortunately, the tendency to see the pandemic as alternately good news and bad means no matter how derelict the governor’s response, and no matter how many Iowans die as a result of her failings, she can simply wait until the tide turns once again and claim that things are looking up — and she’s not the only one doing this. From a guest column in the Iowa City Press-Citizen by UI VP for Medical Affairs and dean of the College of Medicine, J. Brooks Jackson, who loves him some opportunistically optimistic rhetoric: UIHC stands ready to lead Iowa through this COVID-19 crisis.
It’s important to note that the number of hospitalized patients across the state has declined by more than 200 inpatients from over 1,500 patients just a couple of weeks ago — a positive sign, although Thanksgiving gatherings could cause coronavirus numbers to increase again.
The problem with this good news, and by extension Jackson’s entire public response to the pandemic, is that one of the main reasons for this decrease in hospitalizations is that Iowa’s integrated hospital network is freeing up resources and staff by once again cutting back on elective surgeries, and once again treating more non-ICU COVID-19 patients at home, instead of on an inpatient basis. From Michaela Ramm at the Gazette: Coronavirus home treatment program helps prevent hospitalizations at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
* Continuing with the theme of cultural disappointments, we have this from the Gazette’s Vanessa Miller:
Sounds like time for double-secret probation.
11/24/20 — Happy Thanksgiving, everyone — and if you live in Iowa, here’s hoping the lethal administrative failings of Iowa’s demonic governor do not kill you or someone you love….
* From Linh Ta at Iowa Capital Dispatch: Iowa hospitals will see ‘New York City-style collapse’ says epidemiologist.
On Nov. 15, [nurse Eric] Hosiak said his unit tried to order more body bags after some were used by another unit. He said his unit was told they could not order more because they were being saved for another unit.
“That’s the first time in my eight years that I’ve ever heard that we were low on body bags,” Hosiak said.
A month ago Iowa’s COVID-19 black widow — Governor Kim Reynolds — proclaimed, in advance of Election Day, that the state’s integrated hospital network was doing just fine. Well it wasn’t then, and it’s much worse now, and as a result the governor is not only killing Iowans by the score, she is grinding down hospitals and healthcare workers when they are needed most.
* Speaking of failed leadership…last summer the illegitimate president of the University of Iowa, J. Bruce Harreld, went on a deranged rant about how other colleges and universities were behaving like “lemmings” about the pandemic, while UI — under his disciplined leadership — was exhaustively deliberating each and every decision. Well, as a result of all of that deep original thinking, UI is now sending thousands of students home for Thanksgiving break, only to then welcome them back to campus and to Johnson County at the worst possible time, thus ensuring more disease transmission from social mixing. Meanwhile, at Iowa State and Northern Iowa — two of the lemming schools that Harreld obliquely derided — their semesters will be over, and because of their foresight they won’t be actively generating additional COVID-19 cases on campus next week.
Making this administrative idiocy all the more absurd, Harreld and UI tried to split the difference during the planning stage and declared that all post-Thanksgiving classes would be online only. Unfortunately, because Harreld aggressively sold the idea of a ‘campus experience’ to students in the fall, and there are football games yet to be played, many students will still return to the UI campus and Johnson County after Thanksgiving, even though they don’t have to do so for academic reasons. (Note also that roughly 80% of all credit hours this term were delivered online only, but that didn’t stop Harreld and his crack team from encouraging students to return in August, and to bring their checkbooks and debit cards with them.)
From Cleo Krejci at the Iowa City Press-Citizen: Just ahead of Thanksgiving break, in-person classes end at the University of Iowa.
At a time when COVID-19 cases are rising across the state, in-person classes for the more than 30,000 students at the University of Iowa are coming to an end for the remainder of this fall semester.
That means many students in Iowa City have a choice: they can remain on-campus, in the residence halls, apartments or elsewhere — or travel off-campus and continue their studies from outside of Iowa City until the semester ends in late December.
This fall, approximately 5,000 students live in university housing and close to 13,500 more live in Iowa City and Coralville, according to UI data. Students are able to remain in the residence halls while classes take place virtually up until Dec. 19.
From the Daily Iowan:
The university advised those in the UI community who are seeing family members over break to create a plan beforehand, especially if those family members are at a higher risk for COVID-19 complications. More than 1,800 students responded to a UI survey asking about plans for break — half said they would stay in Iowa City, said Campus Health Officer Dan Fick at a Faculty Senate meeting on Tuesday.
Behold the visionary leadership of business genius J. Bruce Harreld.
* As was the case at the inception of the fall semester, when no entry testing was conducted as students arrived at UI, there will also be no testing of students prior to or after Thanksgiving break. Fortunately, however, the university is changing course for the spring term, and organizing surveillance testing to better understand what is happening on campus and in the surrounding community. From p. 9 of the 10/13/20 meeting minutes for the UI Faculty Council:
The university is now in the process of developing a surveillance testing program. A committee has been formed to craft how the surveillance testing will proceed. This committee includes Jorge Salinas, the UIHC epidemiologist; Dan Diekema, the director of the UIHC Division of Infectious Diseases; Paul Natvig, the directorof Student Health; Dan Fick, the Campus Medical Officer; and Edith Parker, the dean of the College of Public Health. In response to a question, President Yockey further explained that surveillance testing would involve testing a random selection of people across campus to try to identify asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic individuals so that, based on this data, planning for outbreaks can be carried out.
The lemmings are taking over — and it’s about time.
* Yesterday the Iowa Board of Regents released the agenda and meeting notice for the first meeting of the UI Presidential Search Committee. That meeting kicks off at 9 a.m. on December 4th, and a live-stream link will beposted on this page prior to that meeting. More info here.