Every once in a while the public needs to recognize public officials and just tell them thanks and that their efforts are appreciated. David Remmert is the administrator of the DeWitt-Piatt County Health Department. We should all be thankful for his efforts over the past several months. Usually health departments concern themselves with food inspections, septic inspections and locally supplementing the traditional medical community for those in need. Then COVID-19 reared its head and bit this nation.
Piatt and DeWitt are small rural counties. They share staff for financial efficiency. Bi-County Health is cost and benefit effective for what they were designed for. They were certainly competent to attend to a normal flu outbreak or cases of food poisoning arising from a local eatery. Bi-County Health has neither the staff nor the facilities to respond in-house to a pandemic. BUT that is exactly what Remmert and his agency have responded to. The federal and state governments determined that local health departments would be the first line of vaccination defense against COVID. Dave Remmert wasn’t asked if he had the facilities, equipment, or staff to vaccinate the counties. He was just told to do it. To add insult to injury the state and feds couldn’t even tell him the quantity of the vaccine he would receive. He was simply told to vaccinate the populace with a priority listing that he had no control over. Then the state tells the public to call the health department for appointments by your priority. No one stops to think that this small agency is not a phone bank with numerous operators. Their entire phone system got slammed.
Dave Remmert could have simply said the task was beyond the capabilities of his small agency. Fortunately for all of us, Mr. Remmert rolled up his sleeves and developed a plan where no plan was before. He contacted the schools to obtain a facility with enough square footage to conduct a vaccine clinic. The schools graciously allowed the use of their facilities to conduct the vaccine clinic. The use of that property was a major contribution and was done in the spirit of community cooperation. Remmert then contacted the hospital and other medical providers to obtain staffing for the clinics, which will take several months. He got some paid and a lot of volunteers to provide assistance to the vaccine clinics in DeWitt and Piatt counties.
The logistics of pulling the vaccine clinics off during a pandemic are worthy of a graduate management thesis. Dave Remmert had to pull this off while still having to meet the demands of his agency’s other obligations. Dave Remmert, his staff, and the community that came to his call for assistance need to be told that the residents of DeWitt and Piatt counties truly appreciate their time and effort to the community at large. The next time you see Dave Remmert, his staff members, and the numerous volunteers who are assisting in the vaccine clinics, tell them thanks. We are grateful as residents for their services. Thanks, Dave Remmert and staff/volunteers.
IMPEACHMENT—This is impeachment week in Washington. I for one am saddened, perhaps sickened, by this turn of events. I have said before in this column that Trump’s greatest attribute was his mouth, and that Trump’s greatest detriment was his mouth. Nothing has changed. I have read what Pelosi’s House says are impeachable offenses and I don’t see the Constitutional merit for such a charge. That being said, I certainly disapprove of much of Trump’s vitriol in defeat. It does no one any good. In this case, Trump is out of office. Impeachment is to remove a person from office. The American voters did that and Biden has been sworn in. From my perspective the case is moot and needs to be dismissed as there is nothing to accomplish, other than political theater. Gerald Ford lost an election because of his pardon of Nixon, but in the historical context he saved the nation. Think about it.