Hurricane Ida has hit and is now gone, thank you. Despite its rude visit and departure, Louisiana residents are restless. Some have evacuated to points everywhere. Others remain back home. All of them long for they way things were before the storm.
Ocshner Health, Louisiana’s largest non-profit, academic, healthcare system, is not only dealing with the major catastrophic disaster resulting from Super Hurricane Ida which hit this past weekend, but is still coping with the traumas of the ongoing health pandemic of Covid-19 with markedly increased hospitalizations over the past two months.
On Wednesday, Ocshner held a press conference led by the President and CEO Warner Thomas. Below is the rough transcript of the first part of that Zoom press conference. (The transcript has been lightly edited. For the complete interview, watch the video:
Louisiana has never suffered from a pandemic as much as the Delta strain of the Covid-19.
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How challenging for the State of Louisiana is Covid-19's omnipresent Delta variant? What impact is it having upon the state's premier health system?
Today, the President and CEO of Ochsner Health, Warner Thomas, was a guest on Morning Joe to discuss the raging Covid-19 Delta virus. Thomas said it is the fourth surge in Louisiana. During the interview, CEO Thomas talked about the impact the virus was having upon medical services, even to the point that over the past ten days, Ochsner had to turn away 300 transfer patients from other facilities due to the level of COVID patients Ochsner is treating and due to the level and pressure on staffing.
Ochsner is Louisiana’s largest nonprofit academic health center and is the state’s largest private employer. The health system has facilities in New Orleans, Jefferson Parish, Kenner, the River Parishes, Baton Rouge, the Northshore, the West Bank, Raceland, Houma, St. Bernard, Shreveport, and in Mississippi.
Late on a hot July night in a neighborhood off Downman Road in New Orleans, a man was shot in the head. After being taken to the hospital, he succumbed to his injuries. It was another grisly statistic in a city known for its high rate of violence.
Sadly, the shooting was barely mentioned in local media, just another murder victim in a violent city. As usual, the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) provided few details. These regular incidents of crime spark little outrage from the public numbed by the never-ending violence.
Cajun cuisine has always been unique, delightfully spicy, and thoroughly enjoyable for those that live or visit South Louisiana. But for many years, it was always a local thing. That all changed with the arrival of Chef Paul Prudhomme in the 1980s. He became an internationally known superstar chef who brought the taste of Cajun and creole cooking worldwide.
New Orleans is a 300-year-old city, but it is on the verge of losing its unique character that made it one of the top travel destinations in the world.
The damage began in the 1990’s when the Orleans Parish School Board decided to change the name of public schools in New Orleans. Removed were names honoring George Washington, Robert E. Lee, and many others. This was done to make students feel better about their schools. Of course, it did not result in public education improving at all.
I don’t know about you, but I sure am confused about all this current debate over gender equity, gay rights, and transgenders, especially with new rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court. I keep reading in the newspaper about LGBT. I had to look up the lettering to even know what the abbreviation means. Being “politically correct” has become an obsession with much of the country as well as right here at home in Louisiana.
Republicans just a few weeks ago were scouring major cities across the country to find a new location for their national convention, scheduled for mid-August. The GOP had originally planned to congregate in Charlotte North Carolina, but the governor set extremely strict standards for any type of large gathering. President Trump seems dead set on going to a more friendly environment. New Orleans was initially in the running.
There is a huge financial stake involved, with some 40,000 conventioneers projected to be attendance at wherever the location may be. The economic impact is estimated to be well over $200 million. Such conventions prove to be a huge financial generator for hotels, restaurants, cab drivers, bars and a whole host of local of entertainment options the fuel the local economy of any convention city.
New Orleans is a city that has a 65% majority African American population. In addition, the two most important positions in the city are held by African Americans: Mayor and Police Chief. There are also African Americans in powerful positions throughout the city administration, the city council, the school board, the business community, and other influential organizations.
As a youngster, I loved Tulane University. I grew up in the shadows of the massive Tulane Stadium on campus and enjoyed attending many football games with my family. I participated in their basketball camp, worked tirelessly as a ball boy for the baseball team and loved playing pick-up football and basketball games with friends at various sites on the campus.
Unfortunately, the Tulane University of yesteryear is long gone. Today, it is a hyper progressive university stuffed with card carrying liberals serving as administrators, professors, and students. Conservatives need not apply or even attempt to break through the liberal stranglehold.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has stirred uP a national debate on standing when the national anthem is played at sporting events. I’ve always looked on honoring the flag and standing for the national anthem as a basic premise that connotes a commitment to protect our freedoms guaranteed to us under our constitution.
It looks like it’s time to get out the soap powder in Louisiana and the rest of the nation. In protests all over the country, there is a growing call for the banishment of whatever tattered remnants are left from the aftermath of the Civil War. Not just flags, but monuments, names, Dukes of Hazzard, Aunt Jemima syrup, Uncle Ben’s rice, Gone with the Wind, they all gotta go. The cultural cleansing in the Bayou state has begun.
Early this morning another man was killed on the streets of New Orleans. It was barely mentioned in local media, just another murder victim and the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) provided few details. These regular incidents of crime spark little outrage from the public.
In contrast, last week, protesters marched throughout the city promoting the abolishment of the NOPD and the agenda of Black Lives Matter. The tragic death of George Floyd sparked national outrage. There are needed discussions that must be held regarding police reform, but it should not overlook the good work that most police officers do daily.