*Dr. Drew has weighed in with insight on Bobbi Kristina Brown’s medical condition amid claims from her father Bobbi Brown that she is “awake” form her coma.
Therapist to the stars Dr. Drew was joined on his show by CNN Legal Analyst Sunny Hostin and confirmed that even though Bobby said his daughter opened her eyes, she could still be “in a vegetative state.”
“They can have eyes open and be meaning and still have no relation or meaning with the outside world,” he said.
Hostin said that according to her sources within the family, the 22-year-old is no longer in a coma and no longer sedated, however, “she does still have a [tracheostomy tube] in her throat and her neurological condition has not changed over the past 12 weeks.”
“She doesn’t speak. She doesn’t respond to touch. She’s simply in the same, exact neurological condition that she has been in for the past few months,” Hostin continued and said. “That brain function just does not appear to be there.”
Dr. Drew also address fans who were upset with him for saying that Bobbi Kristina’s condition had not improved. He read a direct quote from her own grandmother, Cissy Houston, who proved his point that her health status was still the same as it had been when she was admitted to a hospital on Jan. 31.
“I have just returned from visiting my granddaughter Bobbi Kristina in the hospital and while she is no longer in a medically induced coma she has tracheotomy and according to the doctors she has global and irreversible brain damage and remains unresponsive. Meeting with the doctors and understanding that she can live in this condition for a lifetime truly saddens me.”
Bobby’s lawyer, Christopher Brown, also clarified his comments and said that yes, she has improved and “opened her eyes,” but she has a long way to go. …The quality of her life will not be known for years to come.”
Dr. Drew added, “She will be in a vegetative state. That’s highly predictable.”
According to Hollywood Life, Bobby Brown’s announcement is said to have put Cissy and the Houston family through “an emotional roller coaster.”
“Bobby saying Bobbi Kristina is awake is something we all wish for and want to be true but Bobby’s hurting Whitney [Houston’s] side of the family, especially the elders, with false signs of hope,” a source told the outlet last month, adding, “It killed Cissy to see Bobbi lying in that hospital bed lifeless. It nearly destroyed her. It was beyond excruciating for Cissy to sit and listen to doctors tell her that her granddaughter wasn’t going to make it.”
The insider said Houston had made peace with Bobbi Kristina’s grim prognosis. But when Bobby said that she was awake, she was tempted to go back into the “devastated” state of mind she was once in.
“Not again,” the insider said. “She’s old and doesn’t have enough fight in her to go through one more emotional roller coaster.”
Bobbi Kristina was discovered in her bathtub unconscious in Jan. 31. She was rushed to the hospital before being placed in a medically induced coma for about 12 weeks. The only child of Bobby Brown and late singer Whitney Houston was then transferred to a rehab facility where she is currently.
Dialyses Nurses: Prop 23 Poses Grave Threat to Black Patients
*Ahead of the November election, a group of dialysis nurses and patients have come out in strong opposition to California’s Proposition 23.
If passed, Proposition 23 would require all kidney dialysis clinics to have a physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant on site during dialysis treatment. It would also prohibit clinics from reducing their services without state approval and make it illegal for them to refuse treatment for patients based on their insurance or payment source.
Although the proposition’s supporters say passing it would improve clinics across the board, opponents argue that requiring the presence of a physician at each clinic would force many clinics to shut down and increase healthcare costs for 80,000 California dialysis patients. Opponents also point out that the ballot measure would not require the physician to be a nephrologist or kidney specialist.
Dialysis is an important medical procedure for patients with kidney failure, with risk of death increasing by 30 % after one missed appointment. Patients need to attend a regular clinic to avoid complications in treatment that may arise if patients were forced to visit emergency rooms.
Opponents of Prop 23 argue that many smaller clinics would not be able to afford the new staffing requirements and would be forced to shut down, leaving dialysis patients without a regular clinic.
“They’re not going to be able to operate because they’re not going to be able to afford the additional expense of paying this doctor when some of these expenses could be utilized to improve the equipment we have and which basically impacts the improvement in the care of a patient. It’s a waste of money,” said Kim Bailey, an Inglewood-based dialysis nurse.
African Americans make up the majority of dialysis patients. According to the National Kidney Foundation, more than 35 % of all patients receiving dialysis for kidney failure in the U.S. are Black, even though Black people make up only 13.2 % of the U.S. population.
Bailey spoke about her staff, using tasks her employees perform as examples of the services that dialysis clinics already provide without Prop 23 in place. She emphasized that the patients, who come three times a week, are treated by nurses who match their shifts. This allows the nurses to bond with their patients and understand their conditions through familiarity.
“This clinic is one of the largest ones in Southern California. I have 58 chairs, I have about 350 in-center patients, and then I have a home program as well. I have a medical director and associate medical director that are very accessible to us at any given time. Each patient has an assigned nephrologist. My physicians frequent the clinic. There is always someone in this clinic,” said Bailey.
Los Angeles-based dialysis patient DeWayne Cox spoke about his own experience with dialysis, including what happened when he missed treatment, as an example of what might happen to other dialysis patients if the proposition passes.
“I missed a shift for work on a Friday. I ended up in the emergency room that Saturday, and the physicians there did not know how to treat me. I received kidney failure because of high blood pressure, but I am not diabetic, but the physician there treated me like I was a diabetic and gave me insulin. I’d never had insulin before in my life, and I nearly died. And other patients do because of something like that, because they end up in the emergency room, because they miss a session,” said Cox.
Kathy Fairbanks, the No on Prop 23 spokesperson who hosted the presentation, also spoke about the political backstory behind the ballot measure.
Prop 23, she said, is a predecessor of 2018’s Proposition 8, which was voted down. Both the previous proposition and this year’s are supported by the SEIU-UHW West, a labor union for healthcare workers. Opponents of Prop 23 argue that Prop 23 is the union’s latest attempt to unionize dialysis clinic workers.
“I think this is all part of a plan to put these initiatives on the ballot every two years, and essentially use it as a lever to force the dialysis provider to allow a union. If that were to happen, these initiatives every two years would cease to exist. We’d never seen another one on the ballot,” Fairbanks said.
“I don’t like the fact that it is involving patient care. They need to continue to address the teammates that work in the dialysis facilities in terms of their union and not involve the patients in this,” Bailey said.
Quinci LeGardye | California Black Media
Kamala Harris Campaign Suspends Travel After Staffer Tests Positive for Coronavirus
*There’s big news coming out of Senator Kamala Harris‘ camp this morning. The Democratic Vice presidential candidate will pause her campaign travel through Sunday after her communications director tested positive for coronavirus, the Biden campaign announced Thursday.
The campaign said that the vice presidential nominee, who tested negative for the virus on Wednesday, was “not in close contact” with the aide, Liz Allen, under CDC guidelines. However, Harris will still pause her travel “out of an abundance of caution and in line with [the] campaign’s commitment to the highest levels of precaution,” the campaign said.
Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon said that Harris will return to the trail by Monday, Oct. 19 — but maintain “a robust and aggressive schedule of virtual campaign activities” until then.
Additionally, he campaign is also suspending travel for Doug Emhoff, Harris’ husband.
Harris was scheduled to travel Thursday to North Carolina for events encouraging voters to cast early ballots.
The campaign told reporters Thursday morning that Harris’ communications director and a traveling staff member for her travel to Arizona tested positive after that Oct. 8 trip.
Harris and Biden spent several hours together that day through multiple campaign stops, private meetings and a joint appearance in front of reporters at an airport. They were masked at all times in public, and aides said they were masked in private, as well. Biden and Harris have each had multiple negative tests since then.
Biden, meanwhile, is scheduled to attend an ABC News town hall airing live at 8pm Eastern.
VIDEO: How NJ’s Most Segregated County Fueled COVID: Racism & Coronavirus Made a ‘Vicious Circle’
*Housing segregation has made New Jersey ripe for the pandemic’s spread, according to a new six-part series in USA TODAY that examines how racism fuels COVID-19 deaths.
One of the stories focuses on NJ’s Essex County, home to some of the most segregated and impoverished communities in the U.S., where some residents jam together in cramped apartments, multi-generational homes and housing projects. Essex County was among the top 10 in the country for its death rate from the novel coronavirus during the first wave of the pandemic, and still hovers in the top 15 months later.
New Jersey leaders try to address the inequities that allowed COVID-19 to hit parts of Essex County harder than communities that have more whites. They point to decades of housing policies – some unspoken, some written – that banned white property owners from selling homes to Black buyers. Those practices also excluded Black residents from the midcentury homeownership and wealth-building boom, and they kept communities of color concentrated in often poor and neglected neighborhoods.
Below, a video from the story by USA TODAY writers Deborah Barfield Berry and Kameel Stanley.
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