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Sunday, January 17, 2021

Vaccine prioritization

At this point, sates have all sorts of criteria on who has what priority.
But whose job is it to decide if a given person fits the criteria? 
Like, I have had cancer. I haven't had any tumors detected in several years. But do I "have" cancer? I mean I hope not, but I still spend medical money because of my cancer, and I'm still at elevated risk for recurrence. 
I got hit by a car on my bike a few years ago and got a concussion, which we now know causes permanent brain damage, even if each instance doesn't cause much. Do I have a neurological impairment? 
I suppose one answer is, if I can get any licenced doctor to write a note saying I do, then that should be acceptable. But still, whose job is it to look at my documentation, compare it to the state's criteria, and confirm that I qualify? 
That's the sort of question that can be surprisingly murky in healthcare (for example, there's a concept of "primary" insurance and "secondary" insurance but no one knows whose job it is to classify a patient's insurance that way)

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Monday, January 11, 2021

Who has the ability to approve an active-crisis deployment of the National Guard to DC?

There's a key question here that it's bafflingly difficult to find journalists trying to answer: Who has the ability to approve an active-crisis deployment of the National Guard to DC?

The NYTimes has been vague on whose authority is actually required to send in National Guard troops; they don't seem to have made any mention of the "it was Pence who approved the National Guard" claim, that Matt Yglesias and others have mentioned. (See search here: https://www.nytimes.com/search?dropmab=true&query=pence%20guard&sort=newest )

In today's main article, the NYT alludes to a Pentagon official needing to get approval, but leaves it at that, which strikes me as frustratingly lax reporting. Does the NYT know whose approval was required? Obviously if Trump commanded it it would happen; but how far down the chain does that ability go, in theory? "Deployment" is a vague term itself, of course, and all military troops (and police) have some kind of standing authorization to defend violent situations in their immediate vicinity. But if there were, say, active shooter terrorists attacking the White House and the president was unreachable, it's not like the military would just shrug and wait for orders. How is this stuff supposed to work? If reporters can't find anyone who knows, that's a huge story in and of itself, isn't it? And if they can find people who know, why the heck aren't they reporting the answer?

Matt Yglesias seems to suggest that it was Trump's responsibility to approve the National Guard deployment, but I also haven't seen that mentioned in other coverage, and it's not mentioned in the article he links to.

Who has the ability to approve an active-crisis deployment of the National Guard to DC?

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