Things That Matter

A Girl In Puerto Rico Died From An Illness Because The Only Hospital In Her Area Was Destroyed During Hurricane Maria

There is sad news out of Vieques, Puerto Rico where a young teenage girl has passed away after suffering flu-like symptoms. Jaideliz Moreno Ventura, 13, died on Sunday after her condition worsened she began convulsing. Now, her family is pointing the blame on the island’s inadequate medical facilities. 

Vieques, a Caribbean island off of Puerto Rico’s eastern coast, hasn’t had a working hospital in over two years. That’s because its old primary hospital, Family Health Center Susana Centeno, was closed due to damage from Hurricane Maria, which hit the island more than two years ago.

What started out as just flu-like symptoms turned into a tragedy within the span of three days. 

It all started last Friday when Jaideliz told family members that she was experiencing flu-like symptoms. According to local media, her uncle, Carlos “Prieto” Ventura, said that she had “a fever, a sore throat, and a headache.” She was then taken to a hospital in Puerto Rico for a checkup and to be tested for influenza. While the results of the test came back negative and she returned back home to Vieques, things got worse over the weekend. 

By Sunday, Jaideliz’s symptoms only got worse as she began to have spasms and severe head pain. After the family took notice of her increasingly worse conditions, she was taken to the only health facility on the island, the Center for Diagnostics and Treatment, which was due to Hurricane Maria destroying its old hospital. According to NBC News, the clinic lacked proper medical equipment to help Jaideliz. Her cousin, José Ventura, told the news outlet that the facility didn’t have a working mechanical ventilator for oxygen, only an older manual air pump. 

By 11:30 a.m. local time Jaideliz was pronounced dead as she was being transported to Puerto Rico on an air ambulance. 

For those living on Vieques, receiving medical attention isn’t easy. Many have to take a boat to receive medical attention in Puerto Rico where trip times vary from 30 minutes to multiple hours. 

There is growing anger and blame about the teen’s death with many people pointing blame at the inadequate assistance that Puerto Rico and nearby islands have received since Hurricane Maria hit in 2017. The situation in Vieques is a perfect example of that as residents lack nearby health services and aid. 

“If we had more resources, she would be with us right now,” her cousin told NBC News. “They have forgotten about us.”

Puerto Rico’s Health Secretary, Rafael Rodríguez Mercado, says that he has ordered an immediate investigation into the death of Jaideliz and which circumstances could have caused this tragedy. Back in December, Democratic lawmakers requested an investigation into why FEMA hadn’t done anything to help rebuild Vieques’ only hospital. But lawmakers alerted FEMA about this issue in May but there was never any response. 

“In Puerto Rico, we talk a lot about how we are treated as second class citizens, but the people of Vieques and Culebra [another island off the coast of Puerto Rico] are being treated as third-class citizens,” Edgardo Román Espada, president of Puerto Rico’s Bar Association, told NBC News last May. 

Jaideliz’s family is using this tragedy as a wakeup call for health officials to do something about the deteriorating situation on the island. They are hoping for more medical supplies and equipment so this situation doesn’t happen again.

On Wednesday, a vigil was held in the girl’s honor as her family called for help. They say that they “don’t want Jai’s death to be in vain” and made the plea for more medical assistance. Her mother says the island needs to “have a dignified hospital, with medical equipment and supplies —so that no other mother will have to go through what I am dealing with now.” 

“Up to a point, the people feel abandoned, that politicians come and go, and there are no bonds of affection and our feelings are obvious. We live this problem and that is why our pain here. All this adds more regret and anguish to our people,” her uncle told local media. “This is what you live every moment on our island. We need more sensitivity. ”

This tragedy followed what has already been a tough start of the year for Puerto Rico as a 6.4 magnitude quake shook the island back on Jan.7, killing at least one person, destroying homes and leaving most utility customers in the dark. There has been an estimated $110 million in damages caused by the quake. 

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Covid-19 Cases Surge In Meat-Processing Plants As COVID-19 Spreads In Rural America

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Covid-19 Cases Surge In Meat-Processing Plants As COVID-19 Spreads In Rural America

David Ryder / Getty Images

Meat processing plants have been at the center of the COVID-19 response conversation. The plants, many located in the Midwest, are crucial to the food supply chain to feed the country but outbreaks at these facilities have threatened that supply chain. Some closed to save the health of their employees but an executive order, with limited power, allowed for these plants to stay open.

The meat-processing industry is surprisingly small with 4 plants providing 80 percent of the meat in the U.S.

Workers at meat-processing plants have been testing positive for COVID-19 in April. The spread was quick and some plants began to shut down in late April and early May to avoid massive outbreaks in their plants. In early May, several plants closed to handle the outbreaks, including Tyson Foods, one of the largest pork-processing companies in the U.S.

New data shows that coronavirus cases are increasing in the U.S. meat processing plants. The numbers have tripled to 15,000 with 63 meat plant workers dying from the virus. Within a month, Tyson Foods, the country’s largest meat processing company, saw its number of coronavirus cases jump from 1,600 to 7,000.

The number of cases has spiked within meat-processing plants that have reopened.

In late April, President Trump signed an executive order that some people misinterpreted as ordering meatpacking and processing plants to remain open. What President Trump did was to order that meat and poultry plants are essential according to the Defense Protection Act of 1950. The DPA is used to compel manufactures to create “scarce and critical material essential to the national defense.”

The second thing the order did was to give the authority to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. Perdue is responsible for keeping the meat processing and packing plants running during the pandemic. He has to adhere to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

As with some states, there are discrepancies showing in the data being released by the meat plants.

In North Carolina, the Smithfield meat-packing plant in Tar Heel is being elusive with their number of positive coronavirus cases. They are being assisted in the lack of transparency by state and local officials, according to The New York Times.

“There has been a stigma associated with the virus,” Teresa Duncan, the director of the health department in Bladen County, where the Smithfield plant is located, told The New York Times. “So we’re trying to protect privacy.”

A poultry plant in Arkansas was the cause of an outbreak in a Latino community.

In Arkansas, a community saw a spike in cases within the Latino community. The cases were coming from employees, their families, and their social circles. The one poultry plant resulted in 151 new cases in the Latino community of Dardanelle, Arkansas.

READ: Another Man Has Died Of Covid-19 In ICE Custody And The Agency Still Lacks Any Plan To Prevent More Deaths

Chrissy Teigen Gets Tested For Covid As Pre-Surgery Protocol

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Chrissy Teigen Gets Tested For Covid As Pre-Surgery Protocol

@chrissyteigen / Twitter / chrissyteigen / Instagram

Chrissy Teigen is known for her social media presence. The model is one of the most famous social media users because of her unfiltered voice. Teigen is honest about her life and outspoken when she sees wrongs online. One of Teigen’s latest posts on Instagram is another example of Teigen’s willingness to share all parts of her life.

Chrissy Teigen is getting ready for surgery and people just had to know why.

Teigen shared herself getting a Covid-19 test recently in preparation for surgery and people on social media began to ask questions. Of course, everyone would want to know what surgery she was having. Maybe people were concerned about her health. Maybe they just wanted to be nosey. Well, now we know what is happening.

Turns out that Teigen is getting her breast implants removed to start a new journey in her life.

The model stated on Instagram that she is simply done with having her implants and wants them removed. It is a trend we have seen with several celebrities, including “RuPaul’s Drag Race” judge Michelle Visage. Visage had her implants removed because of her Hashimoto’s Disease, an autoimmune disease that attacks the thyroid glands.

Some people saw Teigen’s original tweet and allegedly got upset that she was being tested for Covid-19.

Teigen lives in Los Angeles. Los Angeles was the first major city in the U.S. to expand free Covid-19 testing to all residents as a result of a county order expanding free testing to all residents of the county. There are steps to get the testing but all residents are allowed to receive free testing.

According to the LA County Covid-19 website, all people who want a test should contact their healthcare providers first to see if they are able to get the test there. If it is not possible to be tested there or you cannot make contact, you can register for an appointment for free Covid-19 testing through the city and county.

Patients who are undergoing elective surgeries are one group being tested before the procedure. Residents who are symptomatic, over 65, have chronic medical conditions, or are essential workers are prioritized for the Covid-19 tested provided by the county and city governments. Essential workers include janitorial, security, airport, government, health care, food and grocery, and more.

The Twitter user deleted the tweet and responded in the thread.

Looks like Teigen was able to get through to someone on social media. Covid-19 testing is a hot button issue with the federal government leaving testing up to the states. The lack of a federal plan means that states are handling their own testing and data. According to a report by Vox, only three states meet the threshold for a safe reopening. Those states are Alaska, Kentucky, and New York.

Women are celebrating Teigen’s honesty and transparency about her surgery.

Credit: chrissyteigen / Instagram

Teigen is known for being unfiltered and giving her followers what they want. She does not hold back and he has let people into some intimate moments in her life. The news of getting her breast implants removed is just another chapter in her open book life.

READ: Rebellious Women On Twitter Are Gearing Up To Be #FilthyMouthedWives Thanks To Donald Trump’s Latest Attack