Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Claims They Have To Do Whatever The County Commission(ers) Say. How Wrong Can They Be?

After our post on April 1, 2020 concerning the outrageous actions of County Commissioner Bryan Lober, Sheriff Wayne Ivey and an un-named Deputy Sheriff in removing one Robert Burns from a “press conference” / meeting, we received an emails from Burns forwarding both his complaint to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office and the response from email from Brevard County Sheriff’s Office West Precinct Commander Bruce L. Barnett.

We want to make it clear that we are not fans of Burns and his tactics, but this goes beyond our mutual dislike for each other. If the Sheriff’s Office thinks they can trample on the rights of people with impunity, that affects us all.

First, the Burns’ complaint email dated March 28, 2020:

Lt Simpkins,

I’ve been trying to reach you to get more information and file a formal complaint about the incident that occurred this past Tuesday at the press conference.

According to Sgt Hammond your subordinate, he was instructed by you to have me removed from the county press conference at the request of Bryan Lober.

Blind Willie Johnson, Darrel Mansfield, And Jesus Coming Soon.

Blind Willie Johnson

Unless you know something of the musical style called “the Blues,” you probably aren’t familiar with “Blind Willie Johnson.”

Seminal gospel-blues artist Blind Willie Johnson is regarded as one of the greatest bottleneck slide guitarists. Yet the Texas street-corner evangelist is known as much for the his powerful and fervent gruff voice as he is for his ability as a guitarist. He most often sang in a rough, bass voice (only occasionally delivering in his natural tenor) with a volume meant to be heard over the sounds of the streets. Johnson recorded a total of 30 songs during a three-year period and many of these became classics of the gospel-blues, including “Jesus Make up My Dying Bed,” “God Don’t Never Change,” and his most famous, “Dark Was the Night — Cold Was the Ground.”

COVID-19: People Will “Pooh Pooh” This Because Of The Source, Attacking The Messenger Instead Of The Message.

Dr. Stephen Smith appeared on FoxNews with his take on treating COVID-19 with hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin [an antibiotic.]

We know that some people will dismiss this because it is FoxNews, but this is not a talking head from the network. This is a doctor out in the field working with patients and charting results.

Dr. Stephen Smith, founder of The Smith Center for Infectious Diseases and Urban Health, said on “The Ingraham Angle” on Wednesday night that he is optimistic about the use of antimalarial medications and antibiotics to treat COVID-19 patients, calling it “a game-changer.”

Could This Be Why States And Hospitals Are Trying To Blame The Federal Government For Lack Of Medical Supplies?

Many people are screaming that the Federal government did not provide or plan for supplies for the COVID-19 pandemic. We never understood the fury as we believe that it is up to companies and states to be prepared with the Federal government as a backstop, but not a primary source.

A case out of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals may hold a glimmer of the reason for the fury.

Courts have at times imposed malpractice liability when a hospital failed to provide a service that might have benefited a patient. For example, in Herrington v. Hiller, 883 F.2d 411 (5th Cir. 1989), the plaintiff alleged that a baby was born with brain damage as a result of a hospital’s failure to provide 24-hour-a-day anesthesia services, and the court found admissible earlier discussions among hospital personnel about whether such services might be needed. More generally:

Hospitals and other institutional providers have a duty to provide adequate staff and services to deal with unexpected medical problems. Hospitals, like physicians, are expected to keep up with an evolving standard of medical practice, particularly if its cost-benefit ratio is high. The failure of a hospital to maintain adequate services to deal with medical emergencies can create liability.

It makes one wonder if as the hospitals were warned of the coming pandemic, if a jury would hold them liable for failing to prepare.

Hospitals, of course, would argue that they have an obligation to maintain sufficient equipment for ordinary times, not for pandemics. Assuming a hospital maintains a typical ICU capacity for hospitals, it would have a strong argument to having met the community standard of care.

If a court in its instructions emphasizes custom, hospitals may mostly be free of liability. But if a court instructed juries to apply the Hand formula, or instructed juries in a way that would implicitly allow them to consider cost-benefit type considerations, the result might well be different. A pandemic was not unpredictable, and a likely cost-benefit analysis would likely suggest that ventilators should have been purchased. If a ventilator costs $25,000, then at a value-per-life of just $5 million, the purchase would have been cost-justified if there were a 1 in 200 chance that it would be necessary–or an even lower chance if a single marginal ventilator might be used for more than one patient.

We cannot imagine the costs to private hospitals and state run institutions if juries found them liable for failure to prepare.

By trying to shift the blame in the court of public opinion, hospitals may be laying the groundwork for a defense against lawsuits.

We would say that any lawyer that took on such cases would bereft of morals, but money has a long way in having people not do the right thing.

Social Distancing.

FLORIDA: Governor DeSantis Issues “Stay At Home” Order.

Governor DeSantis has issued a “stay at home” order except for “essential services.”

The order is below.

Don’t Cough On Me.

Our good friend and blogger William Teach over at The Pirate’s Cove brings to light a group that is selling merchandise with the above image on it.

No, this is not an April Fools joke and no, neither we, nor Teach is getting anything for bringing this to people’s attention.

It is a great idea and makes a point without being obnoxious and in people’s faces.

It also made us laugh.

BREVARD COUNTY: How Can So Much Go So Wrong From So Many Sources?

We had debated as to whether we would do a traditional “April Fools” post like we have done in the past and other sites do, but somehow that idea seemed inappropriate at this time given COVID-19 and the surrounding issues.

We should have known we’d have plenty of fools to write about.

Our mail box was flooded yesterday with people saying “did you see that you were mentioned in the Florida Today?” and then supplying the link.

Intrigued, we went to the Florida Today site and saw this in an opinion piece from Isadora Rangel:

[Brevard County Clerk of the Courts Scott] Ellis said people like Burns — and, for example, the local right-leaning blog Raised on Hoecakes — serve a purpose to bring things to light. It’s up to the public to decide whether to believe what they write — not government’s.

We appreciate the shout out from Ellis.

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