jburcum Profile picture
Star Tribune opinion writer on health care. Applying Minnesota mom sensibilities to coverage: don't fib, don't be mean & you better have done your homework.
Jul 8, 2022 4 tweets 1 min read
American Medical Association statement on Biden's post-Roe executive order:
“Across the country, since the Supreme Court’s egregious decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, physicians have been placed in an impossible situation – straining to meet our ethical duties to place ... patient health and wellbeing first, while attempting to comply with vague, restrictive, complex, and conflicting state laws that interfere in the practice of medicine and jeopardize the health of patients. The AMA applauds today’s executive order from the Biden Administration ..
Jan 24, 2022 6 tweets 1 min read
1. New from U of M Med School on wastewater COVID surveillance: Data shows predicted decline of the omicron variant surge for COVID-19 in the Twin Cities Metro area within the next two weeks. That prediction is based on data from the thirteen metro plants surveyed. However... 2."Surveillance in most other regions of the state show sustained evidence of continued viral spread.
The only decline in Greater Minnesota was found in the SouthCentral section of the state, involving samples from five plants."
Jan 7, 2022 7 tweets 1 min read
The 2 p.m. MN Dept of Health media call is getting underway.. the first of 2022 and the first we've had in a while. I'll tweet some highlights. MDH's Jan Malcolm and Kris Ehresmann are on the call. Malcolm says daily case numbers less useful as get into omicron surge as rapid, at-home tests widely used. Number of cases coming in is also so large that can't process, verify results. Literally flooded w/lab results.
Jan 7, 2022 4 tweets 1 min read
1. From @mnmed: The Minnesota Medical Association "fully supports the decisions by Minneapolis and St. Paul to re-institute mandatory mask use while indoors. We urge other communities to consider similar actions." 2. "Wearing well-fitted masks is a valuable strategy in our ongoing fight to slow the spread of COVID-19 and the highly contagious omicron variant. The best defense against COVID-19 and serious complications remains vaccination and boosters...."
Jan 6, 2022 5 tweets 1 min read
This commentary in JAMA, listing MN's Mike Osterholm as a co-author, is making news this morning. jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/… Impt to note this caveat: "Today, the US is far from these thresholds. For the week of December 13, 2021, the CDC reported the US experienced more than 900 000 COVID-19 cases, more than 50 000 new hospitalizations for COVID-19, and more than 7000 deaths."
Dec 2, 2021 26 tweets 6 min read
The 11 a.m. MN Dept of Health briefing on the state's newly detected #omicron case is getting underway. Will post some highlights. Discovery of this in MN should be taken seriously but it is not a reason to panic -- MDH Commish Malcolm.
Dec 2, 2021 4 tweets 1 min read
Details from @mnhealth: Public Health Laboratory has found the variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus known as Omicron in a specimen from a Minnesota resident with recent travel history to New York City. The person with the Omicron variant is an adult male, is a resident of Hennepin County, and had been vaccinated. The person developed mild symptoms on Nov. 22 and sought COVID-19 testing on Nov. 24. The person’s symptoms have resolved.
Dec 1, 2021 18 tweets 3 min read
There's a 2 p.m. Minnesota Dept of Health COVID media briefing getting underway. Will post some highlights. On the call: MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm and Infectious Disease specialist Jan Malcolm.
Nov 16, 2021 21 tweets 4 min read
MN's COVID metrics are grim and so here we are again with another MDH media briefing getting underway (the on-hold music hasn't changed since early 2020, in case you were wondering). Will post a few highlights. Newly reported: 10,913 new cases, 51 deaths. Not one-day totals but represent weekend totals as well. But still at levels of concern. Cumulative death toll now at 9047 deaths. Hospital capacity tighter than last week's presser.
Aug 17, 2021 23 tweets 3 min read
The 2 p.m. MN Dept of Health briefing is getting underway. Will tweet some highlights. No question we are in the middle of another spike. and that this is driven by delta variant. -- MDH Commish Jan Malcolm.
Aug 11, 2021 5 tweets 1 min read
1) Timely statement from Federation of State Medical Boards: "Physicians who generate and spread COVID-19 vaccine misinformation or disinformation are risking disciplinary action by state medical boards, including the suspension or revocation of their medical license..." 2) Doctors "have an ethical and professional responsibility to practice medicine in the best interests of their patients and must share information that is factual, scientifically grounded and consensus-driven for the betterment of public health."
May 6, 2021 9 tweets 2 min read
1) Just in: "Governor Tim Walz today announced a three-step timeline to end nearly all state COVID-19 restrictions by May 28, and end the statewide masking requirement once 70% of Minnesotans age 16 years and older get their vaccine, or by July 1. 2) The announcement comes as more than 2.6 million Minnesotans have gotten their shot and the state is on track to vaccinate 70 percent of Minnesotans by the end of June.
Dec 8, 2020 18 tweets 3 min read
New thread: Q&A with Walz, MN Health care leaders on the state's COVID vaccine plan. Four #mnleg leaders now speaking.
Dec 8, 2020 24 tweets 3 min read
Gov. Walz's COVID briefing getting underway. Will tweet some highlights. Today's focus is the state's vaccine distribution plan. Today's COVID metrics round-up from @StarTribune. Cases going down. startribune.com/minnesota-repo…
Dec 8, 2020 5 tweets 2 min read
Now happening: @ProtectOurCare webinar highlighting the importance of getting high-quality health insurance during open enrollment. ACA financial aid remains in place. In Minnesota, shop on @MNsure. Open enrollment in MN ends Dec. 22. Important to note that window to enroll available outside open enrollment for those who qualify for MinnesotaCare, Medical Assistance. Options also available for those who have lost employer coverage recently.
Dec 7, 2020 17 tweets 3 min read
Gov. Walz's COVID briefing is underway. Will tweet some highlights. We may get some news on whether the recommended quarantine time will be shortened from 14 to 10. Sounds like the advice will change from 14 to 10. Walz says 14 day remains the best, but if compliance goes up with a 10 day quarantine, then this appears to be worth the trade-off.
Dec 2, 2020 24 tweets 3 min read
Minnesota COVID briefing getting underway with Gov. Tim Walz focusing on public safety impact today. Will tweet some highlights. Walz emphasizes that COVID prevention helps protect police and fire. DPS Commissioner John Harrington emphasizes that COVID not just a metro concern. Says it all across the state.
Nov 30, 2020 26 tweets 4 min read
Gov Tim Walz's COVID briefing is underway. Will tweet some highlights. MDH Commish Malcolm: says MN added "a lot" of new cases over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
Nov 20, 2020 18 tweets 3 min read
Gov. Tim Walz COVID press conference underway. The focus is on mental health. There is a 24/7 crisis text line available. Just MN to 741741
Nov 19, 2020 21 tweets 2 min read
“Increase vigilance.” New call to action from White House COViD advisor Dr Deborah Birx. Now showing graphic where fall spike in cases much steeper than earlier waves. Birx attributes sharp fall COVID spike to early cold snap in October and people being inside then.
Nov 19, 2020 15 tweets 2 min read
Some hospitals are nearing the point of turning new patients away and some already. -- Chart shared by Gov. Tim Walz during MN state address happening now. It's not just beds, or PPE or drugs or ventilators "Somebody has to administer those. And they're getting sick." Walz referring to health care providers. They are getting sick from community exposure not at work, he emphasizes.