Letters to the Editor

By NEMS Daily Journal

Physician offers clarity about fever and children
I enjoyed the June 20 article on environmental illnesses from heat (hyperthermia or heat stroke). Unfortunately, a casual observer of the accompanying unsourced graphic might believe that the information also applied to children with febrile illnesses. Actually, elevated body temperature in heat stroke and in infection have very different causes and effects. Specifically, the graphic’s notation regarding 104 degrees states, “Fevers in humans become dangerous.” If that assertion is meant to include childhood febrile illnesses, it is not supported by the best research and recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
In a March 2011 policy statement (Fever and Antipyretic Use in Children), the Academy unequivocally states that a temperature of 104 from an illness is “quite different” from a temperature of 104 from hyperthermia. Further, “there is no evidence that children with fever, as opposed to hyperthermia, are at increased risk … for brain damage.” Finally, since there is no evidence that febrile infections cause any long-term neurologic damage, the goal of managing such fevers “should be to improve the child’s overall comfort rather than focus on the normalization of body temperature.” I quite honestly tell parents that, in 36 years of pediatrics, I have never had a patient who developed brain damage from fever.
One further caution – the reassurance that heat stroke is unlikely to occur cannot be confidently applied to children, particularly infants. For a number of reasons that differentiate children from adults, children left in cars or in high heat-high humidity conditions (in or out of direct sun) can progress to heat stroke very rapidly.
Charles R Robertson Jr., MD, FAAP
Tupelo


Experience tips balance for Hewes with Oxonian
Mississippi Republicans used to say in a heated primary, “Vote for my candidate, he can win in November.” Now, here we are with a lieutenant governor’s GOP primary where the winner takes all. The new mantra is: “Vote for the most qualified Republican.”
The lieutenant governor serves as president of the Senate. It stands to good reason we vote for the candidate who has legislative experience and, better yet, who has been a proven legislative leader.
On one hand, we have Tate Reeves. Tate is currently in the executive branch and has not served a day in the Legislature, nor cast a single legislative vote. His legislative experience is limited to his yearly budget request.
On the other hand, we have Sen. Billy Hewes, R-Gulfport, who has served in the Legislature for nearly 20 years and has cast thousands of votes. Billy was elected by his fellow senators to lead them by serving as president pro tempore with current Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant.
Sadly, the state treasurer has continually refused to debate Sen. Hewes on the issues. Just last Wednesday he dropped out of the debate being held by the esteemed Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics at Ole Miss. President Ronald Reagan said it best: “Ideas Matter.” Mississippians need and deserve to hear the candidates debate their ideas and abilities.
Without a debate to evaluate the candidates, we are left to decide the most qualified based on records and facts. The facts clearly demonstrate that Billy Hewes knows how to get things done as a legislative leader. Moreover, asking to be promoted from the No. 2 job in the Senate to the No. 1 job after an accomplished career is a natural progression – not a movement of blind ambition. Clearly, Hewes is the only candidate prepared to move the governor’s legislative agenda.
President Reagan also famously said, “Facts are stubborn things.” The choice is ours; we can go with the most qualified Republican to lead us or not. The choice is easy for me and I take it seriously. I’m voting for the most qualified candidate; I’m voting Billy Hewes for lieutenant governor in the Republican primary.
Geoffrey Yoste
Oxford


All-America City award stirs Tupeloan’s praise
Congratulations to Mayor Jack Reed, Jr. and the 35 outstanding citizens who went to Kansas City to make the presentation for the All-America City Award designation.
They worked hard and represented the 35,000 citizens with enthusiasm and pride. They were prepared and focused. They also had humility.
We should all be proud. We have many things to be thankful for in our community.
We are thankful to live here and to have our children and their families in this region.
John Lovorn
Tupelo


GOP Medicare plan looks like a casino bet
My mother died in April 2003.
When the medical bills started coming during her hospital stay I cleared off a table and kept all the bills there in one place. Mother had three health plans – Medicare, her health plan from work that she kept after she retired and AARP. I waited for two years until the bills stopped for a bomb to drop, some huge bill that wasn’t covered, and it never happened. What Medicare didn’t cover, her work insurance got and what neither got, AARP picked up. I finally trashed all the bills.
When Republicans rolled out the health care reform plan devised by Congressman Paul Ryan, they were truly amazed at the less than thrilled reception it got from the public. The Ryan plan boils down to two basic parts: (1) When the plan becomes law, if it does get that far, people over age 55 at that time will keep their Medicare. OK, so far, so good. Now, the catch. (2) People under 55 at that time won’t get Medicare. It will be replaced by a piece of paper from the government, called a Voucher, that they can use to purchase health coverage from any insurance company that they please. This will take the place of Medicare and all will be right with the world and we will all march into the sunset holding hands and singing “Kumbaya.”
Picture yourself at a casino. You are standing at the roulette wheel and all the red and black numbers on the wheel are promises of different types of health coverage by the insurance companies. The white ball going around the spinning wheel is your voucher. This is what you want to replace Medicare?
The voucher plan is a sucker bet in a rigged system.
My mother’s experience shows, unique or not, that a combination of Medicare with other health plans can sometimes accomplish what needs to be done.
The question is whether anyone has the guts to stand up to the “all-or-nothing” idiots in both parties and find that middle ground.
Richard Wilkinson
Amory


Objections expressed to eminent domain
This is in response to the editorial in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, headlined “Eminent Domain,” in which the writer gives the governor and Leland Speed a big attaboy for championing the idea that the state ought to be able to take one man’s property and give it to another, all in the name of “community benefit.”
Consider two scenarios:
1. My next door neighbor, Jones, wants to take my land to build a small manufacturing plant. He needs the space for his parking lot and to store material on. Even though it will employ 10 of my other neighbors, the fact is, I don’t want to sell because my granddaddy farmed this land and handed it down to me. So he sends his big, ugly, mean, armed cousin, Bubba, to tell me that if I don’t sell it, they are going to get it anyway and their way may be much more unpleasant for me than if I’d just go ahead and do what they want.
2. Instead of it being my neighbor, now my state has determined that it wants that land for the same purpose – to give to Jones for his manufacturing plant. I still don’t want to sell. So instead of Bubba, Jones bribes the local supervisors who send the big, ugly, mean, armed sheriff over with the same message: Sell or it will be unpleasant for you – and we’ll get it anyway.
The only difference is that one uses Bubba and the other uses the sheriff but the effect is the same – my land is taken and given to my neighbor so he can do with it what he wants. And some justify that under the notion of “public good.”
This is wrong. This is theft. And it doesn’t matter whether the governor is for it or not. Theft is still theft.
Robert E. Hays
Pearl