Todd Akin (r), a former member of Congress, the Missouri General Assembly, and 2012 candidate for the U.S. Senate, has died at the age of 74.
We was before his time. That is, after the teabaggers and before the MAGA hats.
It’s interesting to note the mentions of Todd Akin’s passing from his former political opponents. Sure, he seemed like a nice guy. To paraphrase one prominent member of Congress speaking about no one republican in particular, “I’m certain he walked his dog and regularly mowed his lawn.”
It was his consituents and anyone else subject to his fringe ideology who suffered.
One of the messages left on the online obituary of a home healthcare nurse who reportedly died from COVID-19 and whose earlier anti-vaccine, anti-mask, anti-testing statement at a school board meeting in another state was broadcast on social media:
Sad news this morning, of a friend, from another friend:
Very sad news to share this morning.
James Williams BSN, RN, ANP Nurse Practitioner, retired US Public Health Service Commander [….] and my friend has passed.
Jim gave a lot of himself to his community, his congregation and to Johnson County Democrats in an effort to make our community a better place for all.
We will miss him and our community has suffered a huge loss.
Our thoughts go out to his Wife Bonnie and his family.
Unfortunately he contracted Covid-19 while in the hospital for other treatment. Jim would be the first to tell you to go get your Covid 19 vaccination, wear your mask when around others, wash hands and get tested if you lose taste, smell or have cold/ flu like symptoms. But even being extremely careful, Covid-19 is easily transmissible and while many do have mild cases many do not.
This Pandemic has affected everyone and is far from over. Take precautions and take your vaccine. Ensure you take your flu vaccine this month or early October.
When we have information on services [….] and what not we will share. For now, say a prayer for Jim, his family and our community.
James Williams was a friend, a good Democrat, and a kind human being. He had a wonderful sense of humor and of the absurd.
His concern for his neighbors and his determination to do something about it, in 2018:
James Williams (D): …We have fifteen hospitals in Missouri that have already closed. And you can’t run a deficit, you can’t run a business in the red continually and expect a good outcome. I know for my self and my wife who live in Johnson County, and for you in the counties in which you live, our rural hospitals are really suffering from the fact that we’ve not expanded Medicaid in this state. [applause] Those are hundreds of millions of dollars that could be coming in to this state to keep our rural hospitals open. The medical centers in the, our three major medical center areas, they can get by without this. But our rural hospitals can’t. And if you don’t think our rural hospitals are not providing emergency care to people who are not insured or do not have a mechanism by which to pay those bills you would be wrong. Because we are providing that care, so the hospitals are not being compensated for it. And this injustice for access to health care has to end. That is something I can vote for in House seat fifty-four. And that everyone running for a position in this Missouri legislature can change that. If all we ever did was to change that one thing it would improve the lives of everyone who lives in the State of Missouri.
I won’t, uh, go on any farther, but I appreciate your listening. I appreciate your listening to who will follow me and the ones that were before me because we need your help. Almost every one of you will be, go out and vote. But what you can do is you can talk to your neighbor, you can talk to that cousin who never votes and you can talk to them and get them to the polls. And tell them how important it is.
You’ve heard a lot of ideas of what can change in Missouri to make everybody’s lives better. But it’ll only happen if the people who we know can hear my story and these other folks’ story through you.
So, I ask you for that support and I ask you to, uh, encourage them that they might find their way to support important issues for working families, and people who are retired, hoping to have a retirement, and for those who are disabled.
I thank you for your time. [applause]
James Williams (D) [2019 file photo].
James Williams (D) [2020 file photo].
We’ve lost yet another happy warrior. I am going to miss him.
Michael Keith Bennett, M.D., age 52, of Greenfield, MO, passed away March 6, 2021 at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis due to complications from COVID-19.
Although COVID-19 posed the greatest concern for Dr. Bennett, he assured to provide his community and patients with the most accurate information to protect themselves, their loved ones and his community. Even while practicing the safest measures, Dr. Bennett fully understood the risk repeated exposure to sick or dying COVID patients would pose to his own health and well being. Even more so, he understood the heightened risks posed by those who chose not to protect others by wearing a mask or who threatened harm toward him and his family. Even still, he persevered in assuring their access to the latest medical expertise to heal and alleviate suffering. Our greatest pride is he remained fiercely independent and passionate about his core value as a physician, to heal the sick and dying. Although COVID-19 took his breath, it did not take his voice or spirit, these live within those who knew him. His last words were, “I love you” and we extend these words to you as a reminder to love and care for one another.
Published in Boonville Daily News from Mar. 8 to Mar. 17, 2021.
Gordon D’Arcy Christensen, 71, a member of the MU School of Medicine faculty since 1988, died Feb. 29, 2020, at his home surrounded by his family. The cause of death was cancer.
Dr. Christensen was a professor of medicine specializing in infectious diseases and tropical medicine. As a physician, he was best known for taking on difficult cases and making elusive diagnoses….
….Best known in scientific circles for his research into the cause of medical device infections, Dr. Christensen was the first to recognize that the coagulase-negative staphylococci were a major cause of medical device infections, particularly infections of intravascular catheters. After this, while working with his close colleague, W. Andrew Simpson, they discovered that the capacity to attach to the surfaces of medical devices by forming a sticky layer of bacteria accounted for the predilection to infect medical devices….
….Dr. Christensen’s career in laboratory research abruptly ended when he “blew the whistle” on the attempt by officials of the Department of Veterans, with the assistance of MU officials, to conceal and block a criminal investigation into the murder of multiple veteran patients at the Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital in 1992. This tragedy led to Dr. Christensen appearing before three Congressional committees. To his bitter disappointment, it did not lead to prosecution of the murderer or punishment of those officials who blocked the investigation and concealed the deaths. Most regrettably, it also did not lead to an explanation for the tragedy or compensation for the families of murdered veterans….
….in 2016, Dr. Christensen was the Democratic candidate to represent Missouri’s 4th Congressional District in Congress….