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The white-Left Part 1: The two meanings of white

Thursday, April 30, 2020

a correction, with apologies to Vietnam, 10 times COVID-19 deaths were lost in the Vietnam War

April 30, 1975, the Vietnamese people celebrated the liberation of Saigon
This day is celebrated every year in Vietnam because it was forty-five years ago, on 30 April 1975 that what Americans call the Vietnam War ended for the Vietnamese. It was on that day that Saigon fell to the People's Army of Vietnam and the National Liberation Front. It marked the successful conclusion of a thirty year struggle for Vietnamese national unity and independence that was formally initiated by Ho Chi Minh's Declaration of Independence on 2 September 1945.

That struggle began against Japaneses occupiers, continued against French colonists trying to make a comeback, and ended by defeating their American replacements. The price of freedom was more than three million Vietnamese lives, most of them lost in what they refer to as the American War. The United States also lost more than 58,000 of its own young citizens in its war in Vietnam.

That number was come up a lot this week, as the number of American lives lost to coronavirus has surpassed the number of American lives lost in the Vietnam war. US talking heads as diverse as Joe Scarborough and Tucker Carlson have noted it, but all too often, the way they have put it is like this:
"The number of U.S. coronavirus fatalities has now surpassed the death toll from the Vietnam War."
I beg your pardon, Vietnamese lives matter too! If you insist on putting it that way, please correct your language to make it clear you are acknowledging only American deaths. The current worldwide death toll from the coronavirus is less than a quarter-million, not one-tenth the death toll from the Vietnam War. Let's all work to keep it from getting anywhere close.
These statements are focused on the truly deadly reality of the pandemic in the US, but they overlook the tragic reality that more than American lives were lost in the Vietnam War, and for that I apologize for this self-centered perspective of my fellow Americans. More than ever, we Americans need to be taking a world view because all of humanity is on the same side in this war, but more than ever, we seem to be looking inward. More than three million human lives were lost in what we call The Vietnam War. Fortunately, for all, Vietnam won that war.

Now Vietnam is an independent socialist country of 96 million people that has gone from being one of the poorest countries is the world with per capita income below US$100 per year, to a middle income country with per capita income of US$1,910 by the end of 2013, according to the World Bank.

When I visited there ten years ago, the people seemed very  pleased with what they have accomplished, and in spite of the hardships they endured at our hands during the war, they have truly shown what it means not to hold a grudge, welcoming American tourists, veterans, and even US warships, which recently got them into the US coronavirus news.

When Capt. Brett Crozier of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, wrote about his concerns about the coronavirus outbreak on his ship, and then was fired for it, US President Donald Trump blamed him for stopping in Vietnam, and made the racist insinuation:
"Now I guess the captain stopped in Vietnam and people got off in Vietnam. Perhaps you don't do that in the middle of a pandemic..."
Trump would do well to learn from Vietnam's handling of this common crisis facing all of humanity, instead of trying to scapegoat them for it. Vietnam has been exemplary in its handling of the coronavirus. It may be the only country on Earth in which the coronavirus outbreak has resulted in a drop in demands on funeral homes!

The government of Vietnam acted quickly after the first 2 cases of COVID-19 were discovered in the country in late January. It restricted travel into Vietnam, and quarantined tens of thousands of people. Most importantly, they quickly rammed  up testing, and tested widely. Reuters reported yesterday:
Vietnam increased the number of laboratories that can test for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, from three at the beginning of the outbreak in January, to 112 by April.

As of Wednesday, 213,743 tests had been conducted in Vietnam, of which 270 were positive, according to health ministry data.

That ratio of 791 tests to every confirmed case is by far the highest in the world, according to data from health ministries compiled by Reuters. The next highest, Taiwan, has conducted 140 tests for every case. 
That ratio for Trump's America is a mere 5.8!
This week Vietnam officially announced that it had contained the virus, and was lifting the lock down. It reported a total of only 270 cases of COVID-19 and zero deaths! That claim of no deaths from coronavirus seemed to be born out by a survey of Hanoi funeral homes conducted by Reuters. Not only did none report an uptick in deaths during the shutdown, one claimed a drop in demand due to a shortage of traffic accidents, one of the main killers in Vietnam.

Vietnam had only 16 people who had tested positive for coronavirus when the USS Theodore Roosevelt came calling, and they were far to the north. Eventually, more than 950 crew members, including the captain, tested positive for COVID-19, so probably it was the Vietnamese that were running the greater risk by allowing the USS Roosevelt to call on their port. Imagine the graciousness and hospitality of Vietnam to welcome a warship, from the same country, and of the same type, that was used to indiscriminately slaughter hundreds of thousands of its citizens a half century ago. This is something else we can learn from Vietnam.

For more on the Vietnam War, see my documentary, narated by Martin SheenVietnam: American Holocaust, now streaming on Amazon Prime.

Clay Claiborne

Trump's New Wall? If we put the names of all the Americans killed my coronavirus to this date on a wall, we already know how long it will be.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Inter-Office Memo Number Nine

I wrote this over fifty years ago for the first Earth Day on 22 April 1970. I was an Earth Day organizer for the American Friends Service Committee [AFSC] at the time. I wrote this from the St. Louis County Jail where I was then serving a one year sentence for my part in an anti-Vietnam War protest of the Washington University Reserve Officer Training Course (R.O.T.C.) at the end of March 1970. This was first published in the first edition of the St. Louis Outlaw, 24 April 1970.

The St. Louis Outlaw was an independent, radical newspaper published every three weeks by the Outlaw collective - David, Dev, Fred, Lori and Terry...They were members of Liberation News Service (LNS)  and UPS. They subscribed to Pacific News Service (PNS) and the news service of the North American Congress on Latin America. They were also briefly affiliated with KDNA radio where I also worked as a radio engineer.


Slowly, very slowly, science and mankind are coming to understand whole systems, First through the development and use of computers and the development of spacecrafts as life support environments, then in application to the whole Earth. But few have been able to grasp the full meaning of this new "systems oriented" thinking

Biology, a specialized framework for the examination and study of life, has already, in recent years found that framework inadequate and so to compensate had broadened the field by adding the further specializations of bio-chemistry, bio-physics. Ecology is possibly the latest of these emerging specializations. It attempts to explain how life forces work as a system, this requires not specialized knowledge but comprehensive ability.

Ecology is the study of the operations of whole life systems, or more correctly, the whole life system, since all life we have thus far discovered is interrelated. To subdivide is to leave out, to bring error into any calculation. From a scientific point of view, all biology must be seen as a subdivision of ecology. Chemistry and physics, in so far as our interest in them is environmental, are related to ecology. To deal with ecology as a subdivision of some field, or to fail to cain an overview of life systems is in itself anti-ecological.

Ecology is the comprehension of the whole Earth as an environment and all life on the planet as forming an interrelated system in that environment. Man is a part of that network. He is the Host intelligent, and he is the only one with tool capabilities. Tool capabilities are slave capabilities. In terms of power produced and used in this country, we each have the equivalent of:

500 slaves working for us. Man is the only animal with the ability to make any conscious change in his environment. He is the only one with any comprehensive ability, he alone can understand the system in which he lives, He is Adam, the keeper of the Garden, with the ability to destroy or maintain, to change for the better, to act as the computer's cybernetic control, to comprehend all that is happening at once and make changes and repairs while the system is operating. Don't be too quick to assume that nature would be perfect without man, that it would operate from day to day, year to year without fault. Man is a god and he'd better start acting like one.

The understanding of relationships in nature and man's relationship to his environment should lead to the most radical of viewpoints.

The Death of Western Science

The rulers, manipulators, the power people have always had to further man's distrust in nature, man's isolation from himself and nature, and man's distrust in himself to stay in power. When a man distrusts the wilderness in himself he sees nature as the adversary. This is in part the reason for the current ecological crisis.

Likewise, these rulers have always subdivided men into groups, subdivided knowledge, isolated men as much as possible on all levels. This has been done to destroy man's inherent comprehensive ability, because with a total comprehension of the world would come full understanding of one's own oppression, and the ability to rise against that oppression. They created specialization so that a man might know a great deal about any one thing without ever under- standing the whole.

These things are the basis for all western technology and science, which has permeated every culture on the globe. They have failed to provide an ecologically sound environment and a happy life for men because they were designed to serve the few people in power. Present science and engineering practices see nature as the enemy and act in ways hostile to nature. This is true at all levels and it is he way we are trained. We are all lonely and isolated, not knowing how to love or communicate. We are trained that way because it makes us easy to control. The present uproar in ecology is only to find that exactly the forces that make us losers as lovers make us polluters as scientists, and are therefor self- terminating. By the end of the century it will become clear that all science and technology that is specialized and not comprehensive in its design is anti-ecological and must be done away with, or it will lead to the destruction of life on this planet.

The Seven Cities of Gold

Wealth, money, property concepts came out of a misunderstanding of what the world was about.

Humanity has always lived on less than 10% of the Earth's surface, and the average man only saw 1/100,000th of that area. It is not surprising that men first thought the Earth flat, equally unsurprisingly he thought it extended infinitely in area and resources. He saw a need to define local systems in which he could operate. Nations arose out of the need to define a finite body of known people as a center point, as an independent system within the infinity of the world's people. Outside of this center point there was the limitless rest of the world. Explorers could go out into the world and bring the resources home, just as early nomads moved on when the grass was eaten or the hunted animal depleted. As explorers met other people they became exploiters, but since all these people had been defined as outside their nation-system, the exploitation was not seen as real. Black slaves, the American Indians, the Chinese, where see as the limitless "outside" people to those in the "known" world of Europe. Those people and there re- sources have been continuously exploited.

In just the same way, western man has always seen the airs and oceans as limitless. "ho could measure the volume of all the world's air, the depth of the ocean? Early industry must have honestly thought that anything dumped into the ocean was cone for- ever. But it has become increasingly clear that the world is of finite measures. The world is round end of definite dimensions, the Indians could not go west forever, going deeper into Africa you soon met another ocean. Science discovered that the ocean and air had a measurable volume, and that likewise the Earth's oil, coal, and iron were of certain unchangeable amounts, All of these things are well know today, but they have made little change in our conceptualization of the world. The exploiters maintain their power at the expense of the world's people.

The Spaceship Earth

The world is one system, using the same air and water, the same reserve of raw materials, and it can only be operated effectively as one system. The concepts of nations, of individual peoples, which lead to racism, are obsolete. The United States, as 6% of the world's population uses 55% of the world's resources. The concepts of private property are based on a limitless world,:and are likewise obsolete. In a world of 3 billion, why should one man own more than 1/3 billionth of the world wealth, and why should one man own less. The concept of "spending" originated with the Second Law of Thermodynamics with its well know "entropy" which stated that all local systems were losing energy. Thus it was thought that the Earth was running down and that things once “spent were lost. Einstein set us straight on that with his famous E = me", which not only gave a continuous correlation between energy and matter, but also showed the overwhelming effects of the metaphysical upon the physical.

Ecology Action

Almost everything written in ecology is simply telling people what is happening to our environment. We hear about the population bomb, the DDT-ocean crisis, the air pollution - inversion dangers, the green house effect. This is all very interesting information and it fits well with everything we already know about racism, the war, the atomic bomb, etc. Ecology has just been the uncovering of some more shit in a shitty, stinking world, and its effect on most people is to say, "Gee, there's some more shit."

But telling horror stories is not where its at. Teach~ins, speakers, literature and demonstrations. The come-rally-round mentality and all it tactics belong to the earlier civil rights - anti war stages of development. They are not suitable for building and structuring a movement with the broad base and comprehensive totality that is needed at the present time. To the unenlightened eye the ecology movement must start out much as other movements have, however, close scrutiny reveals that ecology is just a part of the further development of the same movement, and that all our environmental problems, including war and racism, will be solved at the same time, in the same way. Even with its educational functions, Ecology Action attempts to use the old technology (i.e. ecology is another Movement specialization) to teach entirely new environmental problems, in an entirely new stage of Movement development.

I have asked many people in St. Louis and in other cities in Ecology Action the same question: What do you have planned after April 22? And have yet to receive a satisfactory answer. The over- whelming majority of the people asked really hadn't thought about it or didn't know, many others suggested demonstration type actions against various polluters. Very little radical politics has been injected into the ecology movement, even by the radicals involved. The AFSC in St. Louis has rushed into ecology without any assessment, and hooked up with plans already in progress by setting up a speaker's bureau and a literature service for the teach-in,

An examination of the effects of the up coming ecology teach- in show that it will make a large number of people aware that there is a lot more shit around, without giving them anyway of relating to it, or doing something about it, thus making those people feel more lost and insecure. All the things talked about to change the situation, from writing congressmen to sitting in buildings, are worthless and have shown their worthlessness. The problem isn't, as ecology people say, that the people don't know. In this ace of electronic media, where everyone can smell and taste the pollution, they know. They don't act because they have been shown no- where to go.

If ecology was simply a problem of getting the pollution out of our air and water, as the teach-in implies. The problem could be better solved by a fascist government than by revolution. The problem will be presented that way and use for fascist repression. (A Nixon speech of 1975 might read; For the safety and preservation of all humanity, I have been forced to take the following steps...) The teach-in is only doing the ground work for that repression.

The environmental problem id a total one and it has more to do with the garbage floating around inside our minds than anything else. The realization must come that total change is necessary and that chance is revolutionary, not a patchwork of the present system.

The Neighborhood as a Village

As the movement comes out of infancy it must seek ways to survive and grow. Individuals committed to revolution must eventually come out of schools and find ways of living which give them freedom to think and build a movement, and they must find ways of relating to other people.

In St. Louis a neighborhood struggle over the future of the Delmar-Skinner area is going on. It is similar to struggles going on in most other cities, It has to do with the ecology of the automobile. The middle class has moved out of the cities and now commutes to downtown jobs via car. Cities build superhighways and other commuter-oriented structures with little regard for the communities they go thru (usually poor white and black). This is happening on the corner of two heavily trafficked streets in St. Louis, Skinner and Delmar where two gas stations and a drive-in restaurant are to be built. They will serve people passing thru, with no interest in the area, and. they will pollute the neighborhood with paper, exhaust, and will destroy neighborhood services. The neighborhood is a village to those who live in it, and the people who live there can be organized to fight this kind of change.

A neighborhood can be organized as a center for radical action. Attack people's values and Institutions by creating alternative values and institutions.

Knock on every door in the neighborhood. Say, "We're taking a survey." A clip board with a piece of paper headed:


another piece headed:


"We are evaluating our resources to see just what we have in our neighborhood, how we can help each other. We feel that none of us know each other well enough. We're going to make up a directory for the neighborhood, it might tell you who can help you with your lawn, who can lend you a power saw." Go prepared to rap with people. If they let you in the door, maybe you can turn their heads around without breaking them off. People will talk to you and under- stand you because we all have the same problems, we are all lonely and insecure.

For the Movement to grow it must realize that we are kept in isolation all our lives and told about each other thru the established media. The Movement's problems of relating to Blacks, poor whites, police, etc., are essentially problems of overcoming false ideas on both sides designed to keep us apart. Those problems can and will be overcome by people talking to people, not by sitting around and listening to media descriptions. The same media that describes us as dirty commies, gives us our impressions of middle America.

Free is the second most important four letter word in the English language. The Diggers were hip to that. Set up a free store as an exchange of goods within the neighborhood. ‘here will the stuff come from? People. Objects are only transitory subjects of human value. An object released from one person's value may be destroyed, abandoned or made available to other people. The Diggers assumed free stores to liberate human nature. First free the space, goods and services. Let the theories of economics follow social facts. Once a free store is assumed, human wanting and giving, needing and taking, become wide open to improvisation.

Build a free laundromat. Find a garage, some old machines, washers and driers that are cheap or free, make them work and leave the door unlocked. Paint the place nicely and make it a neighborhood project. People will talk. Why can't all work done by machines be done for free? Why should we be ripped off by the gyp merchants ~: run the laundromats? The People"s Laundromat?

Free the services that people usually have to pay for. A cooperative garage, bring your cars, we have tools and a place and someone who can teach you to fix your car. Understand your technology. Can people become their own electricians and plumbers? can they pool their tools and make them available to all? A man in the wilderness quickly learns that he can do many things for himself. Stop relying om the specialist and start becoming a comprehensive person. Build confidence by becoming master of your technology. Anyone willing to teach a class on How Things Work in this neighborhood?

All this time you are talking to people and changing their heads, and yours too, You stop working through the media because it is designed to screw you.

The Student Cooperative Craft Shop already exists in this area. Its purpose is to sell leather goods, jewelry, candles, etc cheap, and stop exploitation by the mod clothing stores and head shops in St. Louis. It gives people a way to make some money and a place to learn a craft. It has spoken,mainly by design, to the student population in the area. It ia interesting, however, to note how the community responded. It made students a part of the community. Black kids came in and wanted to learn how to maké things, and started talking to us. Old ladies who had nothing to do offered to mind the store. People got turned on to politics,music and culture on both sides. There was a place to go where none ever existed before.

A food store could have interesting possibilities in this area. The food industry is one of the industries most neglected by the left, however,it rips people off as much as the auto industry or the military-industrial complex. The food is poor quality, unhealthy, and excessively packaged, but everybody has to eat. A food store could succeed if it could sell healthy organic (DDT free) food as cheaply or cheaper than the retail markets. To do this it would have to form its own food chain-system, if you go to the present food industry at any stage you will be ripped off. The food should come from farm land in Missouri or Illinois, although some can come from much farther. Student farms, kids living in the country, and farmers who will sell to you (most large farms are under contract) are,the sources, The trucking is done by people who ow trucks. Flour mills can be had for a couple hundred dollars, bread ovens, juice presses, and much other equipment can be had cheaply be- cause it isn't used .

The key to the project is that while it may not be the most radical thing to do with your time, we all have to eat and support ourselves, If we can spend that time doing these things and free people, we are performing a radicalizing function. The tools exist, not among the students but among the people we have been talking about organizing, i.e., everybody else, and if we want to radicalize them we must start providing ways for them to live. There is a good deal of money in a successful food system, money to pay people.

Build a park on the corner of Delmar and Skinner, which is empty now and awaiting a gas station. The people's nark strategy is a good one. Do something everyone can understand, build a park, make an ugly place beautiful. then it gets torn down, people will understand about private property and corporate power. Begin with the survey, and talk about the ecology of the automobile. Talk a- bout: how gas stations are holding companies for real estate, and @ against tearing down the Chinese restaurant and book store to build a Jack in the Box. Then make the place a park and liberation block party.

Start by talking to people, turn them on and get them thinking. Let human wanting and needing discover what it can about its condition. The political analysis and rhetoric will come later, slowly.


much thanks to

Gary Snyder Bucky Fuller the Communication Company

Clay Claiborne

American Friend Service Corm. 447 De Balivere St. Louis, Mo. (314) 862-8070

Monday, April 13, 2020

Is Kaiser Permanente putting black lives at risk by refusing to consider hypertension a COVID-19 risk factor?

I am a 71 year-old African American man with hypertension (high blood pressure), so naturally it caught my attention when it was said that older men with hypertension were at special risk of dying from coronavirus disease (COVID-19). I am also aware of the recent findings that African Americans are dying from COVID-19 at a rate two, or even three times, that of the population as a whole. Both my medicare coverage, and full-time employee medical coverage are handled by Kaiser Permanente of Southern California. It is therefore of great concern to me to learn that Kaiser Permanente does not think hypertension a risk factor to be considered when their members are in need of coronavirus testing. That is the reason I am asking: Is Kaiser Permanente putting black lives at risk by not considering hypertension a COVID-19 risk factor?

While I have no formal medical training, my opinion that it should be considered a coronavirus risk factor is well founded, and shared by many, if not most, health experts. For example, WebMD says:
Data from China and Italy -- countries hit early by the virus -- show higher risk of COVID-19 infections and complications in people with high blood pressure.
The City of Los Angeles, which is where I live, and where Kaiser Permanente is a major healthcare provider, considers hypertension a risk factor for COVID-19.

It is also well established in the medical literature that African Americans suffer from hypertension at a higher rated that most people. For example, the National Institute of Health has on its website a paper by Daniel T. Lackland, DrPH titled Racial Differences in Hypertension: Implications for High Blood Pressure Management. The abstract begins:
The racial disparity in hypertension and hypertension-related outcomes has been recognized for decades with African Americans with greater risks than Caucasians. Blood pressure levels have consistently been higher for African Americans with an earlier onset of hypertension.
While this racial disparity with regards to high blood pressure has been known for decades, the racial disparity with regards to negative outcomes from COVID-19 has only come into view in the past few weeks. Just Sunday, Dr. Tony Fauci, from the National Institute of Health, was on MSNBC's Politics Nation. After Al Sharpton pointed out that while blacks are 22% of the population in New York City, they accounted for 28% of the COVID-19 deaths, blacks are 29% of the population in Chicago but account for 70% of the deaths, and in my town, Los Angeles, blacks are 9% of the population, but we account for 17% of the deaths, he asked, "How do you explain the race gap?"

Dr. Fauci began his answer as follows:
The issues is, as I think you hinted at it in your introduction, that is the situation with minority communities, particularly the African American community, in which the underlying conditions that lead to a poor outcome with coronavirus disease, if you look at the need for hospitalization, intensive care, and death, it's very strongly weighted to individuals who are either elderly, but importantly, who have underlying conditions like high blood pressure, asthma, diabetes, obesity, and other underlying conditions.
Dr. Fauci, didn't just mention high blood pressure as a risk factor in relation to COVID-19, he listed it first! He did this for good reasons. While many risk factors, such as obesity, are risk factors because they are likely to complicate recover from any illness, the relationship between coronavirus and hypertension is very specific. As explained by Benjamin Neuman, Professor of Biology, Texas A&M University, in The Conversation:
The cells that SARS-CoV-2 prefers to infect have a protein called ACE2 on the outside that is important for regulating blood pressure.
SARS-CoV-2 has a sliding scale of severity. Patients under age 10 seem to clear the virus easily, most people under 40 seem to bounce back quickly, but older people suffer from increasingly severe COVID-19. The ACE2 protein that SARS-CoV-2 uses as a door to enter cells is also important for regulating blood pressure, and it does not do its job when the virus gets there first. This is one reason COVID-19 is more severe in people with high blood pressure.
Lark, which specializes in chronic disease management, also makes it clear they consider hypertension a coronavirus risk factor:
Current data make it clear that people with underlying health conditions are at higher risk for developing more serious cases of COVID-19, including hospitalizations, the need for ventilation, or death. Overall, an estimate based on a study of 1,590 COVID-19 patients in China found that serious cases were 1.79 more likely for patients with one underlying health condition, such as hypertension, and 2.59 times more likely with 2 underlying health conditions. [4].

The World Health Organization (WHO) says people with hypertension are among the highest-risk groups for more serious cases of, and death from, COVID-19 [5]. The death rate 8.4% among confirmed cases and 6.0% among all cases. In comparison, the death rate among those with no-preexisting conditions was 0.9%. In addition, ICU patients in one study were more than twice as likely to have hypertension (58.3% versus 21.6%). [6].
I found out that Kaiser Permanente doesn't think hypertension a factor to be considered in their allocation of coronavirus tests to their members quite by accident. I found out because they either failed to read, or misread, a message I sent to my doctor, to inquire about coronavirus antibody testing, which a very different test entirely, one designed to determine if you had the disease already, and recovered.  Near the end of March, I wrote to my doctor:
From: Clay J Claiborne
Sent: 3/28/2020 12:39 PM PDT
Subject: Re: coronavirus antibody test

I am writings you today because back in early January I had an upper respiratory infection that I didn't think quite the flu. I've had the seasonal flu vaccine. It came on quite suddenly and put me in bed for 5 days, with fever (~101) aches and a bad cough. At times I thought I might be losing the battle to keep my lungs clear, and might be in serious medical jeopardy, but I weathered the storms without ever calling Kaiser. Mostly, because I felt too sick to come in. Also, the onset of this illness came 5 days after I was visited by a friend that may have just returned from China, although he has been a little coy on that point since then.

Of course, at the time coronavirus wasn't on my radar (otherwise I definitely would have called). I just took it to be another nameless upper respiratory infection that would blow over, and it did. Now I wonder if it wasn't COVID-19, and would like to take the antibody test for my own peace-of-mind if it becomes available for that purpose.
This was the non-responsive reply I received a few days later:

Received: 03/30/2020
To Clay J Claiborne
Message body: Dear Mr. Claiborne,

Thank you for your email. Please read below for coronavirus testing criteria:

As of today our TESTING guidelines are restricted and may change:
If you have no symptoms = NO testing
If you have symptoms (fever and cough/shortness of breath) AND international travel or close contact of confirmed COVID-19 in the last 14 days = testing
If you have symptoms but no exposure (above) and no *risk factors = NO testing
If you have symptoms AND *risk factors = testing
*risks = adult >65, immunocompromised, cancer, transplant, hemodialysis , advanced HIV, chronic lung disease, pregnancy, SNF residents and homeless patients

You can read more by logging into KP.org then reviewing the Health & Wellness tab.

Replies are not allowed for this message.
Obviously, neither Vanessa Lily Ramirez RN, R.N. nor anyone else actually bothered to read my letter, and they don't allow me to rely, and point out their error. 

If you take their website survey to see if you qualify for COVID-19 testing, you will find the same story:
Do any of these apply to you?
  • 65 years old or older
  • Cardiac disease (e.g., coronary artery disease, valvular disease, congestive heart failure)
  • Pulmonary disease (e.g., asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Pregnancy
  • Immunosuppression (e.g., chemotherapy, transplant, or diabetes)
For whatever reason, they  seems to be interested in limiting how many of their members will qualify for testing. You pretty much have to have fever and cough or shortness of breath, meaning you are very sick and need medical treatment in any case, AND international travel or close contact of confirmed COVID-19 in the last 14 days. That last condition contains its own kind of Catch 22, because the more they can limit the testing, the harder it will be to determine if you have had contact with the disease.  By limiting testing in this way, they also limit the need to do the kind of contact tracing that could stop the spread of coronavirus in communities before they are devastated by it. 

All of this brings me back to the question I started with: Shouldn't Kaiser Permantente stop putting black lives at risk by pretending that hypertension, a condition particularly prevalent among African Americans, isn't a risk factor for fatal outcomes from coronoavirus disease?  

Clay Claiborne, Linux Systems Administrator