WATERTOWN — Rep. Elise M. Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, met with nurses and doctors at Samaritan Medical Center on Thursday to discuss how their work has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last Friday, Ms. Stefanik announced in a video conference with Tom Carman, CEO of Samaritan Medical Center, that she had secured an additional $2.5 million in federal funding for the hospital.

Stefanik votes for childcare bills

Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, listens to Samaritan Medical Center staff during a visit to the hospital in Watertown last month. Sydney Schaefer/Watertown Daily Times

Headery

A Samaritan Medical Center staff members speaks to Rep. Elise M. Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, during the congresswoman’s visit to the hospital in Watertown on Thursday afternoon. Sydney Schaefer/Watertown Daily Times

Headery

Rep. Elise M. Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, speaks to Samaritan Medical Center staff during a visit to the hospital in Watertown on Thursday afternoon. Sydney Schaefer/Watertown Daily Times

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I write about north country politics, Jefferson County and the northern shoreline towns of Lyme, Cape Vincent, Clayton and Alexandria Bay

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(29) comments

KRobbins

Did anyone ask how the replacement for ACA that over 64,000 in CD-21 is coming along? She ran on “Repeal and Replace Obamacare” twice. There’s a pandemic. People need health insurance. Trump is at the Supreme Court trying to kill every bit of ACA. That includes pre-existing conditions and young people covered until 26.

She needs to be asked everywhere she goes “Where’s the replacement?” She politicized health insurance in her first two campaigns and is politicizing nursing home deaths now.

Holmes -- the real one

Not to mention the China is going to pay for it nonsense.

KRobbins

This is from the CDC by way of Huff Post. Kinda puts a hurt on the Trump/Stefanik China bashing. Also, the Cuomo bashing.

Trump didn’t impose restrictions on Europeans entering the U.S. until March 13 — almost six weeks after his curbs on Chinese travelers. But community spread of COVID-19 was already occurring in New York City by March 8. The viral strain in the city closely matched that of the coronavirus circulating in Europe — not China — indicating it was transmitted from Europe or possibly from other areas of the U.S.

None of the New York City strains were directly connected to Wuhan, China, where the global outbreak is believed to have originated — an “unanticipated” finding, wrote CDC researchers.

Pitbull

What are you saying, that COVID-19 did not start in China or it morphed when in Europe? If you're trying to make the argument that Trump is racist and biased against the Chinese, it's getting old.

rockloper

[thumbup]

KRobbins

If you're trying to make the argument that Trump is racist and biased against the Chinese, it's getting old.

It’s also a debate that’s pretty well settled, but I’ll let the historians write it.

I’m saying Trump didn’t take action to stop COVID from coming from Europe as quickly as China and that’s one reason NY got smacked by it because that’s what happened. Another thing historians will write when they tell the story of how Biblically horrible the Trump years were.

rockloper

[thumbup]

Pitbull

"and young people covered until 26." Join the military! Excellent health care. Oh yeah, that's for someone else's kid. Preferably someone on the other side of the tracks.

rockloper

And this coming from someone who supports cadet bone spurs!

Holmes

Hmmm, NY with over 431,000 cases, 32,531 deaths, including 7,000+ elderly in nursing homes is on Cuomo not Trump.

https://thehill.com/homenews/media/507237-cnns-tapper-rips-cuomo-crowing-about-covid-19-handling-no-other-state-has-lost

Should pretty much cover Cuomo...

rockloper

Thank god for Cuomo. Your fool in the WH is too busy twitting incoherency to actually help in this situation. As a matter of fact tRUMP has exacerbated the situation with his reckless actions. He's a traitor right along with his ignorant supporters, political or otherwise. This country will be divided for quite sometime until the right wing is soundly defeated in whatever manner is necessary.

Holmes -- the real one

[thumbup]

Pitbull

Or vice versa, rocky boy.

rockloper

Vice versa indeed, just ask Michael J. Hazlewood, owner of the Wood Boat Brewery. He was playing BMOC and suggested bucking Cuomo's guidelines for opening restaurants. He had his tough guy "Don't Read To Me" stance in the paper. Now he's had to shut down because some of his employees tested positive. Ooopsie! You republican clowns aren't anywhere near as smart as you think you are Pitifulbull!

zeitgeist

When Ms. Stafanik told Samaritan folks that she approves of Trump's handling of the pandemic, did they burst out laughing, burst out crying, or sit stone-faced like good little money-recipients?

Trump's COVID approval is at an all-time low. An ABC News/Ipsos poll released last Friday reports that 67% of Americans disapprove of his COVID handling-- "the widest gulf in public sentiment since ABC News and Ipsos started surveying on the pandemic in March. He remains reluctant to acknowledge the coronavirus' continued threat as he keeps pushing to restart the U.S. economy."

Nobody at Samaritan thought or said anything when Stefanik said she supports Trump's handling of COVID?

Shocking, unprofessional and shameful goings-on at Samaritan.

Pitbull

Sure, it would be helpful to confront her while she was trying to provide resources for Samaritan, lol. A Cobb acolyte called me on the phone the other day and stated that Elise failed because she didnt get that HQ unit assigned to Drum and therefore the N. Country lost money. Do you want resources or not? This use of the word "shameful" has got to go. You libs are constantly using it to elevate yourself on the totem pole. It's a form of fake news.

rockloper

Your little tRUMPette darling is a disgrace right along with supporters.

Pitbull

To use your parlance, shame on you, rockloper.

Holmes -- the real one

Pitbull -- speaking of parlance, have you looked up the word "snarky" yet?

You should add the word "parlance" to your vocabulary lesson too..

Pitbull

I did look up snarky, HTRO. What's your point?

Holmes -- the real one

1) Define HTRO

2) Look back in your comment history to find your use of the word "snarky."

zeitgeist

Pitbull, what good is the money when attention to curbing the disease is not first and foremost? As long as the disease spirals out of control under the leadership of Trump who is supported by Stefanik, Samaritan's fiscal dilemma will be ongoing and public health will continue to be compromised. The money is a distraction from the real problem-- a disease out of control due to poor leadership that is supported by political opportunists like Stefanik.

rockloper

[thumbup]

Holmes -- the real one

zeitgeist -- I have similar feelings to what you express here. This is my take (for what it's worth):

" “When we spoke last week, she said ‘I’d love to go up onto the units to talk to staff,’ and I started to think to myself that that doesn’t quite fit with the New York state visitation policy, and probably we aren’t ready for that just yet,” Mr. Carman said."

So, she didn't get that photo op she was hoping for. (Thanks, Mr. Carman) for protecting the health of staff and patients over Stefanik's political opportunity bid)

Nobody on staff would even think to put Stefanik on the spot about her efforts to destroy the Affordable Healthcare measure and to continue to fully support Trump who is trying to do so now -- with no replacement -- and during a pandemic. They simply listened politely. As we all know, personnel are not in a position to dictate policy – and would never consider such a public confrontation. And so, although many were in anguish over the situation facing their patients as well as neighbors and friends, they remained polite.

Staff members are not “good little money-recipients”. They deal with difficult situations every day. The patients they care for are people who generally are mostly at their functional worst – both physically and emotionally. Burn out is a very real problem for people who work at these jobs.

NNY360 was there and it is actually their JOB and their STATED MISSION to provide responsible journalism. Apparently there were no questions about replacement etc. from that quarter.

KRobbins

👍

I’m just hoping our rep has to answer questions a few times before Election Day.

zeitgeist

Since COVID, especially, no one, neither staff nor administrators nor human resource persons at hospitals are speaking out. It's become a standard across the country. If the WDT questioned Samaritan folks, they'd say nothing. Hospitals have built walls of protection and have directed everyone to keep quiet or else. Meanwhile, political opportunists like Stefanik, who support policies that have led to and foster the COVID mayhem in the U.S., get to orchestrate photo ops and advance their re-election campaigns without inquiry or confrontation. It's wrong! It compromises public health and safety. It compromises communities. People become disillusioned when healthcare systems build protective walls around themselves and proceed through a pandemic in silence.

Stefanik is smirking and advancing her self-interests while Samaritan folks are essentially tied up, restrained and in protection-mode.

rockloper

[thumbup]

zeitgeist

Holmes-- the real one, I have great respect and gratitude for the healthcare workers. I also have great respect and gratitude for the healthcare whistleblowers who played a critical role during the height of COVID by bringing attention to the inadequacies in supplies, PPEs, ventilators, ICU beds, staff, etc. Medicine needs to protect whistleblowers and provide opportunities for staff to speak out and raise concerns.

Holmes -- the real one

I most definitely agree, zeitgeist.

In this part of the North Country, it’s rural with the relatively small city of Watertown as a hub. A large percentage of the people who live in this area also grew up here and they basically operate on the "don't rock the boat" mentality as far as local politics goes. For the most part, the local politicians, radio “celebrities,” or other community “leaders” built up their own little anthill --- each of which has as its largely hidden foundation a resistance to change and a suspicion of “outsiders.”

People here tend to think that whistle blowers are either crazy, foolish, or are simply deserving of whatever repercussions they face. Sadly, this kind of mindset underpins much of the regrettable lack of action on everything from domestic violence, child abuse, police misconduct, and political corruption, to the general reticence to demand accountability from politicians and even from our local newspaper.

It’s not like that everywhere – but it is surely common in areas where Republicans are in control. To most of the folks around here (that I have talked to and I ask this question a lot), the very word “conservative” means something on the order of “keep the status quo” and “hang on to what you’ve got.” Their idea of people wanting change? “Democrats just have a ‘whack a mole’ thinking. Better to stick with the way things are. Besides (oh horrors!) they might raise taxes.”

You are absolutely correct in identifying Stefanik as a political opportunist. That is exactly why her Republican handlers installed her here.

If this Covid-19 pandemic has bestowed one meager “gift” to our region it is this: it has provided a peek behind the curtain shielding our local so-called “leaders.” There has been this brief glimpse of just who and what they really are – and now we need to seize the opportunity to demand better.

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