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Defund the nation's already-thin blue line, eh? The same tenuous line that keeps anarchy and crime barely at bay?

The preamble to our Constitution describes what to expect in forming a more perfect union by outlining the fundamental role of our government: establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.

Most of us know that, under calculated emotional pressure from radical leftist "cancel culture" groups, the Minneapolis City Council already has voted to disband its police department while New York City has carved $1 billion from its police budget (disbanding its plainclothes anti-crime unit altogether).

And, as murder rates soar, lawmakers in at least 16 other U.S. cities have proposed or made pledges that would divest some resources from the police, and several more are proposing removing police from schools, of all places, according to Bloomberg News. I'm now wondering in which uncivilized country I'm living today.

I never thought entire bodies of elected officials who swear oaths to the Constitution would embrace such an ultra-radical idea as they watch homicide rates soar in those cities controlled by liberal lawmakers.

We always have had individual cruel and abusive police officers who badly need to be weeded out. The same is true in other career fields across the board from journalism to medicine, each of which still have rotten apples that need to be culled from the barrel.

Yet in a civilized society we forge ahead, utilizing the systems in place to identify and remove the bad actors as best we can. We certainly don't consider the lunacy of replacing entire professions, including city police departments, because of a relatively small number of bad actors.

Do we eliminate legislatures when several are shown to be stealing from the public? Do we throw out the education system because some teachers are grossly unsuited? Are courts disbanded when some judges are proven corrupt? How about defundng medicine because of incompetent, even dangerous doctors?

While citizens and potential victims of heinous crimes stand by and watch as police (I'm estimating 90 percent of whom are professional, caring and well-trained) depart their posts nationwide, the notion seems beyond ludicrous.

And now we hear the obvious political spin that "defund" actually means "reform" the police. Well, my friends, that's certainly not how the signs read, or what's being wildly shouted on the streets. Reform and defund sound nothing alike, nor do they mean the same thing, at least not when I learned English.

The idea is particularly unjustified since the four policemen involved in the caught-on-camera murder of George Floyd that sparked this latest crusade were quickly charged with that crime in a court of law, just as they should have been. No one has escaped justice in the brutal killing thus far.

And how does eliminating police forces from already dangerous cities in any way promote domestic tranquility and general welfare, establish justice or secure the blessings of liberty for all U.S. citizens, including members of every race? Evil will not simply fade away on its own. Rather, it will intensify and spread like wildfire until clashing with law and order.

The rich irony of these unnecessary efforts was highlighted the other day via a TikTok video by a uniformed Hispanic police officer. Seated in his patrol car, he looked directly into the camera and, with a slight head shake, explained that a group in his city planning to protest for defunding police had asked to have ... wait for it ... police protection at their rally to keep them safe.

This is an example of what happens when raw mob emotions (seemingly the prime motivator of many choices in America today, rather than intellect and reason) grab for the nation's steering wheel.

Imagine asking any of these protesters/rioters/looters to fashion a divinely inspired preamble to our Constitution in 2020.

Worked wonders

After earlier studies discounting the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat covid-19 patients were retracted by The Lancet and The New England Journal of Medicine, the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit now has found the drug proved effective in fighting covid-19.

We can add this finding to the long and unfortunate list of discounted and confusing information from medical experts about the use of hydroxychloroquine in combating this viral pandemic. Americans deserve so much better.

The Ford results basically validate what our president has said from the beginning about the effectiveness of this long-used malaria drug, which is why he took a two-week regimen of hydroxychloroquine with his doctor's blessing as a prophylactic without ill effects.

Despite media and widespread Democrat disparagement of the president's remarks about hydroxychloroquine, this inexpensive drug apparently did a very good job of dramatically reducing the worst effects of this virus among those hospitalized, thereby saving undue suffering and lives, the findings show.

Used for 60 years to treat malaria and autoimmune diseases, hydroxychloroquine caused no heart problems in infected patients, Ford reported.

I read the story about these latest findings in the Detroit News and shook my head wondering how many covid-infected Americans sadly backed away from being treated with hydroxychloroquine in the early stages of infection after hearing previous stories about its supposedly risky use.

The two-month Ford System study, conducted among hospitalized patients this spring, resulted in dramatically lowering the death rate in covid-19 patients. Researchers found that between March 10 and May 2, 13 percent of infected patients treated with hydroxychloroquine only in the health system's six hospitals died, compared with 26 percent of those not treated with the drug. I'd call that an even half.

Among all patients, the overall in-hospital covid mortality rate was 18 percent. Many who died had underlying conditions that put them at greater risk. Globally, the mortality rate for hospitalized patients is between 10 and 30 percent, while it stands at 58 percent among those in the intensive care unit, or on a ventilator, the story reads, adding that steroids used with hydroxychloroquine in some instances associated positively with survival rate.

Moreover, the Ford study, published by the International Journal of Infectious Diseases, found patients suffered no heart-related side effects from hydroxychloroquine, another potential risk cited in earlier studies.

Patients with a median age of 64 were among those analyzed, with 51 percent of them being men. Fifty-six percent of patients were African American. Roughly 82 percent of the patients began receiving hydroxychloroquine within 24 hours of diagnosis and 91 percent within 48 hours.

One attending infectious control physician said the study team attributed the positive findings to such early treatment, and partly a combination of interventions in supportive patient care, including careful cardiac monitoring. And amid the good news is the fact that hydroxychloroquine is inexpensive, especially when compared with other drugs under study as possible treatments.

On a related matter, I strongly recommend watching a brief video message from board-certified family physician Dr. Brian Procter of McKinney, Texas, that also pertains to treating scores of his covid-stricken patients with an inexpensive regimen that includes hydroxychloroquine, with a 100 percent success rate and zero hospitalizations. Then draw your on conclusions by simply Googling "Dr. Brian Procter covid-19 letter."

Now go out into the world and treat everyone you meet exactly like you want them to treat you.

Mike Masterson is a longtime Arkansas journalist, was editor of three Arkansas dailies and headed the master's journalism program at Ohio State University. Email him at [email protected]

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