Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Doctor’s orders

Jose Romero, M.D., on the job


AFTER MONTHS on the job, and a pandemic almost behind him (but not quite), the state Senate was good enough to confirm Dr. Jose Romero as the state’s Health Secretary late last week. We’re not sure what the opposition was about. It apparently sprung up recently, like a plumbing problem. Although a majority of the Senate was able to repair the problem before the smell got too bad.

We still don’t understand why a handful of folks in the state Senate felt the need to call this to a vote when so many governors, at least in Arkansas, have their picks of such appointmen­ts. Perhaps there was some personal opposition. Maybe it is as easy as some senators just don’t like all this “science” stuff—what with the masks and vaccines and calls for social distancing. As if all the medical doctors on the planet knew things that certain honorables didn’t have on their Facebook memes.

For the record, this particular doctor—Dr. Romero—was the interim health secretary before he was officially appointed. Before that, he was the state’s chief medical doctor. And it just so happens that this Arkansas doctor and public servant is the chairman—the boss—of the national Advisory Committee on Immunizati­on Practices for the Centers for Disease Control. That job should be considered an honor, and Arkansas should be proud to have one of our own in such an important position. Most of us are.

As we look at the virus graphics in the extra pages of the replica edition of the newspaper every day, we note the downward drop in the numbers of new covid-19 cases and deaths in Arkansas. And we appreciate all those practiced and credential­ed experts who have helped guide us through the last year. Including a certain health secretary who, with the help of a nice majority of the state Senate, remains on the job.

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