Manage episode 256075701 series 2623091
Some of the highlights of the show include:
- The first infections of the coronavirus were linked back to a live animal market that was selling meat in Wuhan, China.
- The coronavirus is spread by person-to-person contact.
- The virus is contagious and the symptoms are flu-like.
- It seems like those that have become the most ill from the virus are the elderly or those that have some pre-existing medical conditions, such as, maybe, COPD or heart trouble or diabetes.
- An outer coat is around the coronavirus. It is an enveloped virus making it sensitive to alcohol, lysol, and most sanitizers.
- There was a fourth case of coronavirus diagnosed in the state of Tennessee.
- “Governor Lee has been very proactive, just in my opinion, same as President Trump and the CDC and going ahead and starting to educate the public.” - Senator Bailey
- If you think that you have flu-like symptoms, stay at home, and then contact your physician and establish an appointment that you can go into where they can see you at that time.
- The coronavirus has a long incubation period, 10 to 14 days, so people can spread the virus even if they’re not sick.
- With the flu, somebody has to have symptoms within a day or two, certainly not 14 days. So usually if people don’t have symptoms, then they’re not contagious with the flu.
- Even if a vaccine is created, it still may take a year for it to be released to the public. It has to be tested first.
Announcer: For the politics of Nashville, to the history of the Upper Cumberland, this is the Backroads and Backstories podcast, with Senator Paul Bailey.
Senator Bailey: Hello, this is State Senator Paul Bailey, with your podcast, Backroads and Backstories. Today we’re joined by State Senator Richard Briggs from Knoxville, who is a cardiac surgeon, as well as State Senator and Doctor, Joey Hensley of Hohenwald, Tennessee.
Senator Bailey: In today’s podcast, we’re going to be discussing the Coronavirus and the effect that it’s having, not only here in Tennessee, but around the world. But before we began talking about the Coronavirus, Dr. Briggs, I’d like for you to introduce yourself to the audience and tell a little bit about your military service and also about the fact that you are a cardiac surgeon and you’re still practicing today.
Senator Bailey: And I know that you go to some Indian reservations, if I’m not mistaken, and you do some, is it... charity work there?
Senator Briggs: No, they pay me for it.
Senator Bailey: Oh, well, of course, I forgot you’re a doctor. [laughing]. So Dr. Briggs, sometimes you have many titles. I don’t know whether to call you Doctor, Senator, Colonel, or friend, but for the most part, thank you and welcome to today’s show. And so, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Senator Briggs: Well, first of all, thank you for having us on here. And I’m State Senator Richard Briggs from Knoxville, Tennessee. I have a, really, a very long career doing a lot of different things. My actual profession when I’m not in Nashville being a State Senator is that I do heart surgery and some lung surgery in Knoxville, Tennessee. I also was in the army for 38 years, I retired as a full Colonel. I did two tours in Iraq during the most recent war.
I was in Somalia back in 1993. I was in Afghanistan in 2004. And even in Korea, back in the 1980s. I know I had a lady asked me one time was I in Korea during the war? And I wasn’t even born when the war started, and that would make me close to 90 years old. I know I haven’t weathered too well, but I wasn’t there during the war.
Senator Bailey: Well, I understand, and so how many tours did you do during the Gulf War era?
Senator Briggs: Well, if you go back to Desert Storm, I was in a MASH hospital, and that was actually my first trip to Iraq. And then I was in Afghanistan. By this time, I was the senior trauma surgeon at a combat support hospital. And then about a year and a half after that, I was in Baghdad, Iraq, where I was the senior officer at the, actually, the busiest and the largest hospital in Baghdad.
Senator Bailey: And although your cardiac surgeon I think you told me at one point in time when you were there running the MASH hospital, that you did multiple surgeries. It just wasn’t limited to cardiac surgery.
Senator Briggs: No, actually, the training for a cardiac surgeon means that you have to have at least five years in board certification in general surgery, and your general surgeons are the ones that are going to be doing gall bladders, appendixes, they’re going to be doing the general trauma surgery, including some orthopedics and some neurosurgery, whatever comes along, but when I was in Afghanistan, we were still in tents. And we had just two orthopedic surgeons and two general surgeons, so whatever came through the door, we either did it or it didn’t get done.
Senator Bailey: Oh, wow, that’s awesome. Now your public service as far as on the political side, you served as a county commissioner in Knox County, and now serving on your second term as a state senator. You and I came in as freshmen together in 2014, and developed a friendship and certainly appreciate you, Dr. Briggs, and so, tell us just a brief summary of your political career.
Senator Briggs: Well, it really goes back to 2007 and 2008 in Knox County. I ran for the county commission and was sworn in as a county commissioner in February of 2008. And I served on the county commission for seven years until I was elected to the state Senate. And I think you were probably sworn in just a couple of minutes before I was because your name was B-A and mine is B-R. [laughing]
Senator Bailey: That’s right I—
Senator Briggs: And so you got a little bit of seniority with me there. But I’ve been in the state Senate now, just as you have, since November of 2014. And we’ve served together since then.
Senator Bailey: Yes. And Senator Briggs, you, certainly because of your medical background, I know that you carry a lot of bills relative to health care in the Senate, which, chairing the Commerce Committee, from time to time there are health-related bills that move through that committee and so we have the opportunity to work with you on those bills, and then you serve on finance as well as the Health Committee?
Senator Briggs: No, actually, I went off the Health Committee two years ago and I’m on the Finance Committee, and also the Transportation Committee, and I was—
Senator Bailey: That’s right, you and I served together there.
Senator Briggs: Yes. And then I am the chairman of the Ethics Committee, and we don’t hav...