As we head into the holiday season many of us find ourselves, as we have for some time, ready for the year to end, hoping for a more normal 2021. But what a year 2020 has been!
Beginning this year enjoying the best economy and lowest unemployment in this county’s history, soon thwarted by a worldwide pandemic that upended everything we consider normal, plunging us into an uncertain future. Overnight, the country was sent into a lockdown that gave rise to unprecedented unemployment, restrictions on international and interstate travel, and whole industries threatened by bankruptcy.
These problems further exacerbated by the incredible government incompetence at all levels; local, state, and federal. The COVID-19 pandemic, a public health issue, soon became a breeding ground of politization and polarization leading to an unprecedented loss of credibility of media, so-named “experts’ and politicians, all claiming “to follow science,” while having not even an inkling of what this phrase really meant, as discussed in these pages. However, most disheartening were the innumerable examples of prominent politicians subscribing to the mantra, “do as I say, not as I do,” demonstrating not only incompetence but also moral bankruptcy.
Add to this that, at a time of unprecedented discord and outright hostility between the two major parties and a roughly fifty-fifty split in the nation between left and right, 2020 was also an election year. And adding further, at time of this writing over a month after the election, embarrassingly, the country still faces unresolved election outcomes in the presidential election but also in some congressional and senatorial elections. Such election shenanigans are supposed to happen only in “banana-republics” and not in the U.S., the supposed credal of democracy. The county, therefore, is difficult to recognizing, once known for government competence and, as a well-functioning democracy, considered “the shining light on the hill.”
What this nation is, however, still able to do if management is tightened and political partisanship is pushed aside, was brilliantly demonstrated in how the federal government managed and financially made possible the previously unimaginably quick development of anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccines with apparently almost unmatched effectivity. Assuming federal and local state governments, now, do not bungle the imminent distribution of those vaccines, historians will, likely, view the record time in which those vaccines were developed as the only saving grace for the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. If one, however, sees how even this process is being politicized by politicians and media, one cannot but be extremely concerned.
While authoritative bodies of advisors have established a distribution ranking; health care providers and first responders followed by individuals with the highest risk from COVID-19—mostly the elderly over age 65. While this appears like a reasonable hierarchy, we cannot but be skeptical about this proposed orders implementation. One wonders, for example, whether Congress, as usual, exempts itself and insists on preferential treatment. We, of course, would not be surprised!
This issue of The VOICE under a separate heading, addresses several still open issues regarding anti-SARA-CoV-2 vaccines which we feel our patients must be aware of before standing in line for vaccinations. Another subject given some space in this issue is so-called non-invasive preimplantation genetic testing (nPGT-A), now offered by several IVF clinics in the U.S. and overseas. CHR, frankly, finds the unvalidated use of nPGT-A scandalous; but who can be surprised, considering the history of PGT-A, in its three earlier incarnations called preimplantation genetic screening (PGS). Finally, considering the many favorable responses to last month’s “A Piece of My Mind” by CHR’s Medical Director and Chief Scientist, Norbert Gleicher, MD he penned another one for this issue, this time describing his feeling of being powerless in the face of obvious mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In this month’s CHR VOICE, we cover:
- NON-INVASIVE PREIMPLANTATION GENETIC TESTING FOR ANEUPLOIDY (PGT-A 4.0): Hard to believe, but IVF centers really use it!
- The Vaccines Are Coming! What Are The Open Questions?
- Being Relegated To The Sidelines During the COVID-19 Pandemic