December 1, 2020

“We may see a surge upon a surge. We don’t want to frighten people but that’s just the reality,” Dr. Anthony Fauci ." - ABC's This Week Sunday, Nov 29, 2020.

I wondered, why doesn't he want to frighten people? He wants to be non-political, great, fine, I get it. Then WE NEED to get political and use the hard data from previous holidays and emotional communications campaigns to put pressure on Governors in states like South Dakota and Nebraska to make changes NOW.
I'll call the campaign the #WarOnChristmasDeaths

While watching the videos of people traveling home for Thanksgiving I heard experts say spikes in cases and deaths have happened after every major holiday since the pandemic started. They also pointed to increases in cases and deaths after the Sturgis Rally and Trump's rallies.

We have the deadly data, then why aren't there videos of stacks of coffins and ICU wards playing on TV every night and social media every day?

Business in booming in coffin sales.

As a logical Vulcan I know the left wants to believe that when presented with the truth people will make the right decisions. NO! One to the 12th power no! Humans make decisions based on lots of factors, with "doing the right thing because it's "scientific and logical" is actually pretty far down the list.

Public health communicators believe that "good speech drives out bad speech." That's partially correct, but what we also need are campaigns and methods to stop people who willful spread dangerous misinformation.

The example used to justify restrictions on speech is, 'You can't FALSELY yell fire in a crowded theatre." The concept is that the panic based on false information will lead to real deaths. However, if the theater was ACTUALLY on fire, you SHOULD yell fire! People who know there is a fire and say, "'It's nothing. Stay in your seats. Enjoy the show!" are threatening people's health and safety with misinformation.

Our squeamishness in sanctioning willful misinformation is killing people.

I listened to a GREAT Mother Jones podcast with science communication expert Jessica Malaty Rivera At 10:33 senior editor Kiera Butler asked if there are pieces of misinformation that won't go away. Science communicators want to educate the good faith misunderstandings of data. Rivera called one example an "unfortunate misunderstanding of data." She was frustrated that people were "misreading charts" that were very simple. But what about the people who know the facts and willfully spread false information?


Why don't we push back hard against misinformation? Are we just too polite? Shell shocked by our inability to change people's minds with facts & science? Afraid some RWNJ will say, "Your early model was incorrect, (because more people changed behaviors than predicted, but they ignore that) therefore we should ignore everything you say!"

There are steps beyond education to take for the people who have been suckered in by the liars, that involves strategic pressure on specific people who can enact changes.

Hammer ALL Governors to push mask mandates other public health actions
People are dying! Stop waiting for Biden to be President! 

It's time to pressure Governors like Kristi Noem and Pete Ricketts to make policy changes before Christmas so there won't be a death surge in January.

Bodies loaded into a refrigerated temporary morgue trailer in El Paso, Texas, on Nov. 16 Mario Tama—Getty Images

Get the Lincoln Project people to make some ads about the dead piling up in South Dakota, (since apparently only former Republicans are allowed to go on the attack for dismal Republican policy failures.)

Between now and vaccines all heroes wear masks.

That's great for the heartstrings, but what about the purse strings?
I looked up the 100 largest companies in South Dakota. In the top 6 are 4 healthcare companies and 2 senior care ones.

Get the CEOS of these companies to call the Governor! "Hey, Kristi, it's Bill Gassen, the new CEO of Stanford Heath here. The lives of my employees and clients are at stake. Get with the mask mandate or no more PAC money for you!" If the CEOs won't make the call maybe the top shareholders should remind them that dead customers are bad for repeat business. 

  1. Sanford Health
  2. The Good Samaritan Society
  3. Good Shepherd Retirement
  4. Regional Health
  5. Rapid City Regional Hospital
  6. Avera Health

When researching money for Noem look what I found! There was a Taylor Swift fundraising concert for Noem in 2015!

Ask Taylor Swift to call Gov. Noem @taylorswift13 to implement a statewide mask mandate. Ask @sanfordHealth to contact the Governor to protect the lives of their 28,000 workers and--for the love of God--please issue a statewide mask mandate. Credit: OpenSecrets Screen Grab

What about businesses from out of state that employ lots of people?
I know a lot of HR people and those who work in retail. Push nationwide mask mandates in all their stores and support employees enforcing them.  Why is this so important? See headline from yesterday:

South Dakota's governor encouraged people to go shopping the same day the state reported its highest single-day COVID-19 death total (Business Insider)

My experience using financial leverage to drive change in right wing media taught me that corporations will take steps to avoid tainting their brand, as long as the revenue keeps coming in. Associating with deadly governors is bad for their brands.

What kind of pressure can nurses put on Governors like Ricketts who haven't pushed mask mandates? 
Maybe you've seen the video of the Omaha nurse from the University of Nebraska Medical Center talking about the tragic experiences of dealing with patients dying.
Last Tuesday Omaha nurse Daphne Newton caught the virus and died. She had spent the past eight months on the COVID-19 pandemic frontlines, treating patients at CHI Health Immanuel Hospital.

Do dead nurses need to hold George Floyd level protests in states where the people won't protect them by wearing masks?

Nurse Daphne Newton died November 24th in Omaha Nebraska. She worked on the COVID-19 pandemic frontlines, treating patients at CHI Health Immanuel Hospital. Credit: KETV Screen Grab

Use the power of the retired donors to pressure the appropriate governors
Retired people were the top donors to Noem, get them to act! Get the number 3 employer in South Dakota to ake a stand. Someone should contact the AARP, they are a powerful lobby. They compiled a list of states where there are no mask mandates.

"For me, the tragedy is none of those people have to die if we adhere to 95% mask-wearing" Dr. Peter Hotez

Dr. Peter Hotez, a vaccine scientist, pediatrician, and dean for the National School of Tropical Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston

My work with activists attempting to stop gun violence and the proliferation of guns everywhere has shown me that we need more than just good messages to sway public opinion. We need to organize to pressure politicians politically, financially and in the public eye.

What else can we do now? Get CDC & DHHS professionals to talk. If they get fired by Trump they can be hired back later.

We have become acclimated to the deaths. Like in a war, the number of deaths that were seen as horrific in the early days now seem normal--but they are not.

What can we do NOW to prevent MORE deaths?

Hammer GOP officials at the state level for allowing Trump policies to remain these next two months.
Governors aren't the only politicians in a state with leverage, call them all now. Protest at home offices! Indivisible has proven this works. Contact them and publically copy people like Tony Venhuizen @Tony_Venhuizen, Noem's Chief of staff.
Use both public AND behind the scenes pressure. Public pressure can drive behind the scenes pressure we never see.

Don't expect the Media to pressure politicians
The media lets politicians run from hard questions. Help 'em out. Be the constituent who catches them in their home districts on the way to their fundraising dinners. Video everything, especially lame answers. Cable TV producers and my comedy writing friends at the Late Night comedy shows lap that stuff up! That is how you reach the millions who aren't on social media 24/7 like us.

Look, I know you did your bit, you voted, wrote postcards, donated and made calls. You are tired, but what I know is that your one strategic call, email, post or tweet can make a difference. Look the companies and affiliate groups I’ve listed. Just pick one you have a connection to, and take one tiny action. Even if it is a single tweet, comment or share.

You might be the snowflake that starts the avalanche.

You all know the old saying, "When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail." Sometimes we need hammers.

Nail the malicious misinformers and obstructors now, so we'll use fewer coffin nails later!

#WearAMask so you will LLAP

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