Timothy Couch, President of the Mesa Valley Education Association (MVEA), resigned via email March 8, on the same day the three-member conservative District 51 School Board majority ignored the pleas of students and voted to reject an offer by Marillac Health to operate a grant-funded, school-based health clinic at Grand Junction High School. The three Board members rejected the clinic at a time when homelessness among D-51 students is rapidly increasing and a Youth Risk Behavior survey by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) (pdf) found poor mental health and suicidal thoughts and behaviors among students are increasing nationwide. According to the CDC, in 2021, almost 60% of female students experienced persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness during the past year and nearly 25% made a suicide plan. Suicide is also a growing problem among Mesa County youth and suicide prevention is a “health priority” for Mesa County Public Health.
Category: Health care
Abortion, Activism, Extremism, Health care, Human rights, Mesa County Democratic Party, Mesa County Democrats, Separation of Church and State, Women
Bigger than Roe western slope march planned for Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023 @ 1:00 p.m.
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Fifty years to the day after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade made abortion a constitutional right, a march will be held locally in Grand Junction to demand that federal protections for abortion not only be restored, but be made even better than Roe allowed.
Last June (2022), the far-right Republican majority now sitting on the U.S. Supreme Court stunned the country when it reversed 50 years of precedent in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling, invalidating Roe v Wade. The ruling end Americans’ federally-protected right to obtain an abortion. It was the first time the Supreme Court has ever taken away a fundamental constitutional protection from people in the United States of America.
Abortion, Good things about Mesa County, Health, Health care, Human rights
Need help finding and paying for an abortion in Grand Junction? Contact Cobalt. They’ll help.
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If you live in Grand Junction, Mesa County or anywhere on the western slope, need an abortion and are having a hard time finding and/or affording one, your best resource and first stop should be Cobalt Advocates.
Cobalt believes nothing should come between you and your reproductive decisions, no matter who you are or where you live. Cobalt operates the Cobalt Abortion Fund, a dedicated abortion fund that helps people cover the cost of an abortion. They also help with the costs and logistics and other needs people often have when getting an abortion, like transportation and lodging. The Cobalt Abortion fund is 100% donor-funded, and is the only independent fund of its kind in Colorado. Cobalt’s goal is to make sure no one has to endure a a financial or logistic burden when it comes to abortion.
Abortion, Activism, Democrats, Health care
Need an abortion in Grand Junction, or on the western slope? Here is updated information.
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NOTE: I’ve written about how to obtain an abortion in Mesa County before on this blog, most recently in 2020, but the landscape on this issue keeps changing. Some options disappear while others expand, and with potential changes looming on the national policy front, I’m re-visiting the topic, and will continue to update it periodically.
In light of the recently-leaked draft Supreme Court ruling indicating the right wing majority of the U.S. Supreme Court is likely next month to formally overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that assured abortion was legal throughout the U.S., it is prudent to revisit the issue of abortion in Colorado, and specifically how to obtain one in Grand Junction and on the western slope.
First of all, there is no reason to fear losing the right to have an abortion in Colorado, ever. Abortion will stay legal and accessible in Colorado, whatever the Supreme Court does.
Abortion, Activism, Health care, Women
G.J. citizens rally to protest draft Supreme Court opinion indicating Court will vote to eliminate the constitutional right to abortion
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The Mesa County Women’s Right Action League organized a rally on short notice today in response to a leaked draft of a major Supreme Court decision published by Politico that indicates the far right majority on the Court will vote to eliminate women’s constitutionally-guaranteed right to obtain an abortion, a right women have had for 50 years. The rollback of womens’ freedom would be unprecedented.
Featured speakers included Jennifer Hancock, a board member of Cobalt, a Colorado-based organization that that helps people get access to abortions, Heidi Hesse of One Colorado, Jeriel Clark and Pastor Valerie Carlson of the American Lutheran Church.
Coronavirus pandemic, Extremism, Health, Health care, Lies, Pandemic, Public health, Quackery, Safety
“Gold standard” medical study finds Ivermectin does not reduce risk of severe Covid-19
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A large number of Mesa County residents harbor the mistaken belief that the anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin, used to de-worm horses and prevent heart worm in dogs, can treat Covid-19, even though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says this is not true.
The bogus idea that Ivermectin is effective against Covid was promoted locally by Grand Junction area chiropractors who spread medical misinformation about Covid-19, including one who urged people to buy livestock-strength Ivermectin and administer it to themselves as a Covid-preventative. Some local chiropractors spread medical misinformation and discouraged people from getting safe and effective vaccines against the disease as a way to help sell their own proprietary brand of supplements they claimed would prevent Covid-19. Members of the Mesa County Republican Party even introduced a resolution for their party’s platform to try to make Ivermectin an over-the-counter drug in Colorado.
After Ivermectin poisonings surged across the country in 2021 due to the spread of this dangerous misinformation, the FDA created an entire web page explaining why people should not use Ivermectin to try to prevent, treat or mitigate Covid-19.
Now there’s even more proof that using Ivermectin to treat Covid is pointless: A large-scale “gold standard” study on using Ivermectin to treat Covid was just published in the New England Journal of Medicine, and it concluded Ivermectin does not reduce the likelihood of hospitalization from Covid-19.
Cringeworthy, Ethics, Extremism, Greg Haitz, Health, Health care, Lies, Pandemic, Pop culture, Public health, Quackery, Weird Grand Junction Stuff
Another Rimrock Wellness Center chiropractor dispenses dangerous medical disinformation
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For many people, chiropractors are de facto primary health care providers, particularly in medically underserved rural areas like the western slope. Many people find it easier and more affordable to see a chiropractor than an M.D., and tend see their chiropractors far more often than they do M.D.s., generating familiarity and a relationship of trust with these health professionals. This puts chiropractors in a unique position to deliver vital public health information to a good portion of the community. They could, for example, be educating people about positive health behaviors, informing them about what’s scientifically proven to keep people safe from contracting Covid-19, telling people what works best to keep them of the hospital if they get Covid-19, and helping them know when to seek further medical care.
But instead of using their valuable position to benefit public health, it turns out many Grand Junction chiropractors are dispensing egregiously false medical information about vaccines and how to prevent Covid-19. And these chiropractors aren’t just flushing their value as a community public health asset down the toilet. They are lying to the people who support them financially and trust them the most, misleading people in very dangerous ways and often doing it for profit.
Ethics, Extremism, Generic idiocy, Health, Health care, Lies, Pandemic, Public health, Quackery, Quacks, Scams
Another local chiropractor spreads dangerous misinformation about Covid prevention and treatment
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In October, 2021, the U.S. News and World Report revealed chiropractors are a major force stirring up anti-vaccine sentiment and spreading medical misinformation across the country in the pandemic. Often regarded as trusted health professionals, chiropractors who do this pose a potent threat to the public by hawking supplements as alternatives to vaccines, working to help people evade vaccine mandates, recommending unapproved and potentially toxic medication regimens to treat and prevent Covid, and abetting anti-vaccine movements at the local level.
That is certainly happening here in Grand Junction, too.
Ethics, Extremism, Health, Health care, Lies, Pandemic, Propaganda, Public health, Safety, Scams, Weird western slope stuff
G.J. chiropractor recommends novel but fraudulent way for anti-vaxxers to try to avoid mandatory Covid vaccination
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Grand Junction chiropractor Wesley Sheader of New Life Chiropractic at 2532 Patterson Road is giving people trying to evade Covid-19 vaccine mandates a unique way to evade the jab: he suggests they join an unvaccinated study control group which can issue them an official-looking ID card saying they can’t be vaccinated because they are a participant in the study.
The only thing is, there is no study and the “control group” is a scam.
Advertising, Consumer advocacy, Dangerous Republicans, Embarrassing Republicans, Ethics, Extremism, Generic idiocy, Health, Health care, Lies, Local scut, Pandemic, Propaganda, Public health, Republican lies, Weird Grand Junction Stuff
“Mesa County Concerned Citizen” fraudulently promotes $182 ripoff box of common OTC items as an “early and effective treatment of COVID-19”
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In its January 3, 2022 email blast, the local extreme right wing group “Mesa County Concerned Citizen” included a plug for “The Defense Box,” an item selling online that contains about $60 worth of common over-the counter items like Pepcid, Listerine, Vitamin C and baby aspirin, that costs $182.36, including shipping and tax.
The group says the items are an “early and effective treatment option” for Covid-19.
None of the items in the box are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment, prevention, mitigation or cure of Covid-19.
Advertising, Conservatives, Crazy Republicans, Dangerous Republicans, Embarrassing Republicans, Ethics, Extremism, Generic idiocy, Greg Haitz, Health care, Lies, Marketing, Pandemic, Public health
Local chiropractor Greg Haitz is behind “Stop the Mandate GJ,” hawks unproven supplements for Covid-19
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Rimrock Wellness Center, a chiropractic office at 12th and Patterson that also sells fat-loss treatments and supplements, has the same street address as “Stop the Mandate GJ,” the group agitating to stop hospitals, nursing homes and doctors’ offices from requiring health workers be vaccinated against Covid-19, the highly communicable, often deadly disease causing the pandemic. At the same time it is encouraging people to remain unvaccinated, Rimrock Wellness Center is also trying to profit off unvaccinated people’s fear of getting Covid-19, as well as their misperceptions of the relative safety and efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines.
Haitz fraudulently promotes his own brand of supplement as protective against Covid-19
Crazy Republicans, Dangerous Republicans, Domestic terrorism, Education, Elections, Embarrassing Republicans, Ethics, Extremism, Fake patriotism, Health care, Intolerance, Lies, politics, Public health, Racism, Trump Insanity
Far right wing slate of school board candidates gin up anger and spread misunderstanding to raise funds
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The three far-right wing candidates for District 51 School Board backed by the extremist group “Stand for the Constitution” — Angela Lema, Willie Jones and Andrea Haitz — together sent out a fundraising email today, titled “It’s Time to Get Politics Out of the Classroom,” aimed at generating anger towards the U.S. Department of Justice to raise money to help get them onto the school board.
The email’s subject line screams:
“The DOJ is coming after parents!”
CMU, Education, Ethics, Health care, John Marshall, Pandemic, Public health, Safety
Quarantined CMU student reports not getting food, help or medical attention
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Colorado Mesa University (CMU) students currently being quarantined in Piñon Hall after being exposed to Covid-19, or who are currently sick with Covid, are telling their parents there is no one stationed in the dorm to help them, and that the school is not providing them with medical attention or even food.
Colorado Public Radio (CPR) published an article September 9 titled, “To vaccinate, or not to vaccinate. At Colorado Mesa University, that was the conversation,” about CMU President John Marshall’s hands-off approach to controlling the Coronavirus pandemic. Currently CMU does not require students to be vaccinated against Covid-19, or to use face coverings, and does not allow instructors to enforce mask-wearing in classrooms — a recipe to spread the Coronavirus, especially with the more communicable Delta variant widespread in Mesa County, and where, according to the Mesa County Public Health Department, only 25-29% of people between the ages of 19 and 29 are fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
Coronavirus pandemic, Dangerous Republicans, Education, Elections, Embarrassing Republicans, Ethics, Extremism, Health care, Inept Republicans, John Marshall, Pandemic, politics, Safety
CMU President John Marshall’s spin on the Israeli study matches TheGatewayPundit’s spin on the same study
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On August 27, 2021, the conspiracy website TheGatewayPundit.com posted an article strongly promoting a “new study out of Israel” that touted natural immunity against Covid-19 over the immunity provided by vaccines. The Gateway Pundit article headline said people who have recovered from COVID-19 have more protection against the virus than people who’ve only been vaccinated. The study the website pointed to as the source of this information was the very same un-peer reviewed Israeli preprint on MedRxIv.org with a warning label that CMU President John Marshall pointed to as the basis for his August 30 “Campus Safety” email to staff promoting the protective value of natural immunity to Covid-19.
Activism, CMU, Dangerous Republicans, Ethics, Health, Health care, Pandemic, politics, Public health, Safety
The Agency of the Irresponsible
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The following commentary on how Colorado Mesa University (CMU) is handling the coronavirus pandemic was written by CMU History Professor Sarah Swedberg, who is now experiencing CMU’s policies in person. This article was originally published on Nursing Clio, an open-access, peer-reviewed, collaborative blog that ties historical scholarship to present-day issues related to gender and medicine. The article is reprinted here with full permission from Dr. Swedberg.
Like many faculty at state universities, the beginning of this school year brings me more terror than excitement. Colorado Mesa University (CMU), the institution at which I have taught since 1999, will require neither masks nor vaccines for students, and faculty cannot enforce mask mandates in the classrooms. This flies in the face of best practices for public health. When I asked the reason for this policy, I was told that there were strong feelings on both sides.
“Strong feelings” is clearly code for the fact that CMU is in a politically conservative region where there is strong resistance to both vaccination and masks. These words remind us that public health measures have always been politicized. Because I teach about HIV and AIDS and because I was a young adult in the 1980s, it is that pandemic that is foremost in my mind as I try to negotiate my own and my students’ safety.
CMU, Coronavirus pandemic, Ethics, Generic idiocy, Health, Health care, John Marshall, Public health
CMU to host another superspreader event on 8/27
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As if holding one massive superspreader event to kick off Colorado Mesa University’s fall ’21 semester wasn’t enough of a public health threat to students and the community, in today’s Daily Sentinel, CMU is advertising another big event on August 27th to be held inside the Meyer Ballroom in the University Center that involves eating, dancing and drinking alcohol.
The ad does not mention any coronavirus precautions being used at the event, like proof of a negative Covid-19 test, proof of being fully vaccinated against Covid-19, or masks or physical distancing.
Coronavirus pandemic, Crazy Republicans, Dangerous Republicans, Deplorables, Embarrassing Republicans, Ethics, Fake patriotism, Health, Health care, Inept Republicans, Lauren Boebert, Pandemic, politics, Propaganda, Public health
Officials at Memorial Regional Hospital in Craig say Rep. Boebert is ignorant about health care policy and it’s costing lives
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In the wake of House Rep. Lauren Boebert refusing to wear a mask on the House floor, calling Covid-19 vaccine administrators “needle Nazis” and likening public health efforts to control the pandemic to “communism,” Andrew Daniels, Chief Executive Officer of Memorial Regional Hospital in Craig, Colorado, told a national news outlet (video) that he is “embarrassed that Lauren Boebert is his House Representative.”
His hospital was recently forced to re-open its Covid ward due to a resurgence in Covid cases in Moffat County, now considered a coronavirus hotspot due to high rate of community transmission and a low vaccination rate, similar to Mesa County.
Daniels, who described himself as a “super conservative,” said of Boebert,
“I’m embarrassed that she’s my representative. I think if you’re going to take a stance on health care policy, you might actually want to learn something about healthcare policy.”
Dr. Matthew Grzegozewski, Memorial Regional Hospital’s Director of Emergency Medicine struck a similar note, about Boebert, saying
“A lot of people are listening [to what Boebert] is saying and a lot of what she’s putting out there is ideology and in fact isn’t medically sound, and it’s putting people in danger and quite honestly costing people their lives, and it’s frustrating to have to fight against that.
Children, Conservatives, Coronavirus pandemic, Crazy Republicans, Dangerous Republicans, Economics, Embarrassing Republicans, Ethics, Fake patriotism, Health care, Janet Rowland, Public health, Republican incompetence, Safety
Mesa County’s pervasive right wing culture is damaging our public health and economy
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Everybody is dancing around it, but no one wants to come right out and say it. It’s the single biggest threat to Mesa County’s population in the last hundred years, but everyone is scared to say it:
Mesa County’s dominant far right wing culture is now causing a resurgent spread of Covid-19, sending people to the hospital and endangering the children in our community who are too young to get vaccinated. Our area’s right wing culture, with its erroneous, misinformed beliefs, is causing the majority of Mesa County residents to refuse to get vaccinated against Covid-19. At the same time our elected officials have abandoned all other means of controlling the pandemic, like masking and physical distancing requirements.
We’ve heard over and over again that the Covid vaccine is now our only way out of the pandemic, but because most people in Mesa County are refusing to get vaccinated, we may never escape the pandemic.