This and that after a brutal Super Tuesday primary season …


UAB fighting coronavirus

Medication being used to treat the deadly novel coronavirus in the United States and China was developed in part at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Antiviral Drug Discovery and Development Center (AD3C).

Dr. Richard Whitley was lead researcher for the drug compound, remdesivir. The effectiveness on the novel strain is still not known. However, the drug had shown such efficacy in treating other coronaviruses, such as MERS and SARS, that treating physicians called for its use fighting the 2019-nCoV strain that is spreading rapidly.

“The collaboration between UAB, our colleagues at Southern Research, Vanderbilt University and the University of North Carolina, along with our pharmaceutical partner, Gilead Scientists, is indicative of our collaborative approach to respond to outbreaks in real time and in helping communities worldwide fight 2019-nCoV,” Whitley told UAB News.

“This is a prime example of how the research we are conducting at UAB plays a critical role in treating patients on a global basis and our contribution of substantial scientific advances,” he added.


Company started in Auburn growing

Bellhops started in 2011 as a company helping Auburn University students move into dorms. reported this week that the company is now in 60 cities nationwide.

Bellhops is trying to hire 100 new employees in Birmingham. The company said workers make an average of $21 per hour, including tips and bonuses.


Another hospital closing

 Yet another rural Alabama hospital is closing. Pickens County Medical Center in Carrollton in West Alabama is shutting its doors Friday.

The Alabama Hospital Association says 13 hospitals, including seven in rural areas, have shut down in the last eight years.

In addition, the association said 75 percent of all hospitals in the state are operating in the red.

Financially, it is just tough for hospitals right now. One reasonable solution is for the state to expand Medicaid to cover the uninsured working poor — those who earn a living but make too much to qualify for Medicaid.

When the working poor get sick, they go to emergency rooms where the care is very expensive. Ultimately, the public pays anyway because hospitals have to write the costs off.  

Retired Auburn Attorney Don Eddins is publisher of The Auburn Villager newspaper and the online publication, Before going into law, he was state Capitol reporter for The Huntsville Times and state editor for The Columbus Ledger. In college, he was sports editor of The Auburn Plainsman. Email him your comments about the newspaper to 

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