Tag: public health

Need a job? Want to make a difference? Cobalt Abortion Fund is seeking to hire 2-3 more organizers on the western slope

Are you looking for a rewarding job that will give you a way to help people and make big difference in their lives?

Cobalt Advocates is looking to hire two to three more organizers on the western slope.

Cobalt operates the Cobalt Abortion Fund, a dedicated abortion fund that helps people cover the cost and manage the logistics of getting an abortion, like transportation, lodging and child care. The Cobalt Abortion fund is 100% donor-funded, and it is the only independent fund of its kind in Colorado.

Cobalt’s goal is to make sure no one has to endure any financial or logistical burdens when it comes to abortion.

March for Our Lives to hold local rally Sat., 6/11 at the Old Mesa County Courthouse, 6th & Rood, 10:00-11:30 a.m.

The national student-led group March For Our Lives will hold a local rally Saturday, June 11, from 10:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. at the Old Mesa County Courthouse at 6th and Rood to demand legislators enact policy measures to reduce the epidemic of gun massacres now gripping America. The rally will feature local youth and adult speakers and a march through downtown Grand Junction and more.

“Gold standard” medical study finds Ivermectin does not reduce risk of severe Covid-19

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.

Open burning still a scourge in Mesa County in 2022


It’s a beautiful spring day in Mesa County, and once again the time of year when palls of thick smoke from open burning envelope entire neighborhoods, turning beautiful, fragrant, warm spring days into days of physical illness, suffering and despair for Grand Valley residents.

With the biggest medical center between Denver and Salt Lake and a wide variety of retirement housing, Grand Junction has long been an attractive area for retirees. But many people who settle here are unaware of the archaic open burning tradition here that exacerbates health problems and can pose an extraordinary health threat to sensitive people with illnesses like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, bronchitis and those who use supplemental oxygen for lung and heart disease.

Is it safe yet to go to indoor meetings and parties? Here’s how to tell.

This post is dedicated to my dad, Daniel N. Fox, who died on 2/11/22 from Covid-19, after catching it from someone who came into his home and inadvertently infected his entire household. Two people out of the three in his household have died as a result. The second person died on 2/14/22.

As the omicron surge recedes in Mesa County, people are starting to gather in large crowds for indoor events again, like meetings, concerts and parties. But is it safe?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggests you take into account the type of gathering you’re considering attending: Is it a small gathering of just people you know, or will there be people there from multiple households or with whom you are unfamiliar? Large gatherings with more people from other places pose a higher danger of infection with Covid-19.

Take into account your risk level, and that of others near you: Do you have children under 5 years old at home who are unvaccinated? Or do you live with, visit or work with older people who have weaker immune systems or other health conditions? If you are around people who are vulnerable to the virus, your behavior, specifically carelessly exposing yourself to large crowds and failing to test for infection before spending time with them, can raise their risk of getting Covid-19, and even kill them, as it killed my dad last Friday.

Another Rimrock Wellness Center chiropractor dispenses dangerous medical disinformation

Charles Daniel Vaden

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.

Mesa County Concerned Citizen meme demonstrates local cluelessness about respiratory transmission of disease

Meme in an email blast sent out by the far right group Mesa County Concerned Citizen on 11/15/21, showing that likely many local people lack any understanding of how respiratory disease transmission works — vital information that’s central to getting a pandemic under control

The above meme was sent out in an email blast last November 15, 2021 by the far right extremist group Mesa County Concerned Citizen.

The meme makes it clear that many Mesa County residents likely lack an understanding about how the transmission of respiratory diseases works — information that is massively important to our ability to bring the virus under control. This could be one reason why the coronavirus has been able to spread so efficiently in Mesa County, and why it is likely to persist here.

Former KKCO weatherman Butch McCain now shilling for anti-vaxxers

Former KKCO Channel 11 weatherman Butch McCain, who was fired last October for refusing to get vaccinated against Covid-19, stands in front of a fake weather map in a video promoting the anti-vax group Stop The Mandate GJ

Former longtime KKCO weatherman Butch McCain, who was fired from KKCO last October after refusing to get a Covid-19 vaccine in compliance with his employer Gray TV’s Covid-19 vaccine policy, is now promoting the anti-vax group Stop the Mandate GJ, which is encouraging others in our area to also refuse the vaccine.

McCain now appears on the first page of StoptheMandateGJ’s website, talking in front of a fake weather map and saying in part,

“It’s not about Covid any more, it’s about forced compliance…Let’s be the resistance to their nationwide tyranny…

 

Another local chiropractor spreads dangerous misinformation about Covid prevention and treatment

Photo: YouTube, 2010

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.

G.J. chiropractor recommends novel but fraudulent way for anti-vaxxers to try to avoid mandatory Covid vaccination

New Life Chiropractic on Patterson Rd., operated by Wesley Sheader, recommends “VaxControlGroup.com” to anti-vaxxers who are trying to evade vaccine mandates. The only problem is, it’s fraudulent.

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.

“Mesa County Concerned Citizen” fraudulently promotes $182 ripoff box of common OTC items as an “early and effective treatment of COVID-19”

Screen-shot from a January 6, 2022 email sent out by Mesa County Concerned Citizen in which the group links to this box of every day drug store items selling online that claims to be an “early and effective treatment for Covid-19.”  The box sells for $160.00 plus $20 shipping and $12.37 tax, for a total of $182.36 — all for about $60 worth of over-the-counter items.

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.

Does Greg Haitz’s furtive editing of his “Immune Support Pack” page indicate consciousness of guilt?

Chiropractor Greg Haitz previously ran for Grand Junction City Council. His wife, Andrea, is now on D51 School Board.

Last month we noticed that Grand Junction chiropractor Greg Haitz of the Rimrock Wellness Center at 12th and Patterson, was marketing his own proprietary “Rimrock Wellness Center” brand of dietary supplement, “Immune Support Pack,” with a description that inferred the product could help mitigate or protect against Covid-19, or “C19”:

Rimrock Wellness Center’s “Immune Support Pack” description as it appeared on December 25, 2021, linking the product to protection from, and mitigation of Covid-19

The National Institutes of Health currently warns Americans that

Data are insufficient to support recommendations for or against the use of any vitamin, mineral, herb or other botanical, fatty acid, or other dietary supplement ingredient to prevent or treat COVID-19.”

At the same time, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is actively monitoring for firms that are marketing products using fraudulent claims that they can prevent, mitigate or treat COVID-19.

After the blog about this product was published, we noticed Haitz edited his “Immune Support Pack” web page to remove the descriptive paragraph previously seen above, and instead he had substituted a list of five published studies:

Trump urges his supporters to get vaccinated. Will Mesa County listen?

“I recommend taking the vaccines. It’s good. I did it. Take the vaccines.”

“The vaccines do work and they are effective.” — Sept. 1, 2021

                                          — Donald Trump

An NPR analysis of more than 100,000 people across the country showed that people who live in counties that voted 60% or more for Trump in the November, 2020 election had 2.73 times higher death rate from Covid-19 than counties that voted for Biden. Counties with an even higher share of the vote for Trump have even higher death rates from COVID-19.

65% of Mesa County voters voted for Trump in the 2020 election.

Mesa County, obviously a strongly pro-Trump county, would appear to be a death trap. Our County is sadly is averaging more than a death a day from Covid-19. Eighty-five percent of people admitted to local hospitals for Covid-19 are still unvaccinated. 

HD-55 candidate Cindy Ficklin (R) now blames taxpayers and a Daily Sentinel reporter for her getting Covid, and is taking unproven treatments for the disease

Ficklin says she “went underground” to get Ivermectin to treat her Covid-19 infection, and displays the bottle in a Facebook post. There is no evidence Ivermectin cures Covid-19, and the FDA urges people not to use it.

Republican House District 55 candidate Cindy Ficklin is using non-medically approved treatments for Covid-19, including the animal de-worming medication Ivermectin. She also says she is inhaling “silver and Glutathione” with a nebulizer to “prevent conjestion [sic] from hardening in my lungs.”

Anti-mask, anti-vax Republican candidate for HD55 Cindy Ficklin has Covid-19, blames it on government

Cindy Ficklin announced on December 19 that she has Covid-19. Ficklin is a militantly anti-mask, anti-vaccination Republican known for spreading the ideas masks are symbols of oppression and vaccines contain “nanotechnology.”

Anti-mask, anti-vaccination candidate for HD-55 Cindy Ficklin (R-Mesa County) announced December 19 on Facebook that she has contracted Covid-19 and is blaming it squarely on the U.S. government.

Ficklin announced she had the disease after emerging from a 30 day ban from Facebook. Facebook has banned Ficklin numerous times for spreading lies and conspiracy theories on her page. Ficklin has repeatedly asserted without proof that the SARS CoV2 virus was created in a laboratory to target obese, elderly and unfit people; she has spread lies about vaccine deaths and about public health physician Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Disease, profiting personally from the virus.

Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra announces mandatory vaccine and masking policy for patrons 2021/2022 season

The Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra has a grip on reality when it comes to the pandemic, and they’re acting on it

The Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra (GJSO) appears to be the first local organization to grasp the gravity of the coronavirus infection spike currently gripping Mesa County and act on it by adopting policies aimed at minimizing the danger of transmitting the virus at its events.

The GJSO emailed its supporters today to let them know that due to the high number of Covid-19 cases locally, the low vaccination rate here and the very heavy burden being placed on local hospitals, starting December 10 all patrons will be required to wear masks and provide proof they are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 prior to attending all GJSO events at all indoor venues, including the Avalon Theater, Love Recital Hall at Colorado Mesa University and others.

HD 55 candidate Cindy Ficklin spreads false, dangerous misinformation about vaccines & Covid on her “Cindy Says” blog

Republican HD-55 candidate Cindy Ficklin has a track record of spreading harmful lies and conspiracy theories about Covid-19, Covid vaccines and other topics on social media. Facebook has tried to rein her in.

After Republican House District 55 candidate Cindy Ficklin was banned from Facebook for 30 days on May 27, 2021 for spreading the lie that Covid-19 was man-made in a lab in China, she started a personal blog on the website of Coldwell Banker, the real estate office with which she is affiliated.

Ficklin has been banned from Facebook several times, including another 30 day stint in July of 2021. Facebook usually applies the 30 day ban — the longest ban they use before taking an account down completely — after a user willfully violates the platform’s “community standards” multiple times and after they give at least five prior warnings and multiple bans of increasing length before reaching the 30-day threshold.

Deprived of her main social media conduit, Ficklin was in need of an outlet where she could spread conspiracy theories and misinformation about Covid-19 and other topics without restriction.

A look at where Mesa County is now with Covid, and how other places are doing by comparison

New York Times’ calendar of average Covid cases per capita in Mesa County dating from January, 2020 until now. We are clearly back where we were last Dec-January, when we were in the thick of the pandemic the first time and had full precautions in place. For months, the NY Times has rated Mesa county as “extremely high risk for unvaccinated people.”

Arguably, Mesa County citizens’ denial of the science around Covid-19 transmission, and the overall lax attitude of our area’s elected officials toward reining in the pandemic are worsening and prolonging the pandemic in our area, making more people sick, putting more people in the hospital and giving Mesa County a good chance of staying a perpetual pandemic state into the foreseeable future.

For comparison, here are how some other areas around the country are doing in managing the pandemic compared to Mesa County: