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As a disabled woman, this is what I have to lose if Donald Trump becomes president.

'In your America, I will have three strikes against me.'

As a disabled woman, this is what I have to lose if Donald Trump becomes president.

Dear Donald,

As the Republican nominee for president, you’ve made a lot of people angry — including the disabled community.

Last November, you openly mocked New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski and then later denied it. That was enough to potentially lose hundreds — maybe even thousands of voters, but you didn’t stop there.


Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

You’ve continued to degrade people with disabilities throughout your campaign — and went as far as to ask a crowd of African Americans, “What the hell do you have to lose?” at one of your rallies this past August.

Even though you were specifically addressing that community, I started thinking. As a disabled woman I have a lot to lose too, If you become president.

As a woman with a disability, I'm afraid of what your presidency could mean for me. Even now, I have to work harder to prove myself.

I especially have to work harder as a writer and journalist. It’s a job that has a very high glass ceiling. I’m proud to say I’ve broken through, but I'm still chipping away at some layers. The fact I’m disabled makes it difficult because there’s added pressure to do well every time I write.

But Donald, you’ve made the mountain I climb even steeper with your comments about the disabled and, more recently, your comments about women.

Even now, many aspects of my life have already been compromised and are out of my control.

I don’t want to lose what control I do have — and having that little bit of power makes me feel like I can conquer anything that’s put in front of me. I’m proud to say I am finding my own way in life.

But in “Donald Trump’s America,” women are nothing more than puppets, and disabled folks are especially vulnerable to harassment because you’ve made it seem like all of this is acceptable.

Image via iStock.

If you win on Nov. 8, I have a lot to lose.

I was raised to be strong, but I think my disability has inadvertently made me stronger. My biggest fear is that everything I’ve worked for and built for myself will completely crumble. I keep telling myself, "If I lose my dignity as a disabled woman, he’ll win no matter what." I don’t think I’ll be able to look at myself if that ever happens.

For me, there’s also much more on the line than self pride, though. If America has four years of a Trump presidency ahead, empathy could be a thing of the past. I could just be seen as “a girl in a wheelchair” — the very thing I’ve tried my entire life not to dwell on or call attention to.

In your America, I will have three strikes against me.

I’m a woman who also happens to be a journalist who also has a disability. And Donald, I’ve worked too hard to let a sea of questionable headlines about your candidacy and ethics ruin my life.

Does America really want this kind of uncertainty for the next four years? Do we really deserve this? As President Obama has said numerous times during this election season, “Don’t boo. Vote!”

So, Donald, I'll be voting next week, and it won't be for you.

If you need another look at what I have to lose, I think this commercial featuring Judy Kohn, the mother of a disabled son, will put everything in perspective — period.

When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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