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NBC's Andrea Mitchell Praises 'Highly Regarded' Cuban Health Care System Indoctrinating U.S. Med Students

Kyle Drennen's picture

In a piece of propaganda that would make Cuba's Castro regime proud, on her Tuesday MSNBC program, NBC chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell cheered the communist state's "highly regarded" health care system, "and especially one of Fidel Castro's signature projects, which is training doctors, doctors who then provide free medical care throughout Latin America."

Mitchell proclaimed: "As the U.S. debates health care....We went back to the Latin American medical school here to talk to American medical students about what they're learning about medicine, about Cuba, and about themselves." That soon became disturbingly apparent as student Cynthia Aguilera gushed: "...after graduating with no debt, no worries about paying off loans and having to get a high-paying job, we can return to our communities [in the U.S.] and work in them and try to uplift them the same way that Cuba uplifted us."

Fellow medical student Heather Ross declared: "...usually when you enter medical school they tell you, 'Okay, we hope you can hold on to your ideals.' Here they actually teach you ideals from day one, in hopes that you will be a physician who will go into you're community and become a leader as well as change agent for improving your community."

Marissa Robinson enthusiastically announced: "I've always wanted to come to this country because of, you know, being from America, being American, it's somewhat taboo. It's something we're not familiar with. So, I've always wanted to come here and then what really intrigued me was the fact that Cuba produces excellent doctors."

Following the fawning testimonials from the American students, Mitchell happily turned to long-time Cuban-American communist sympathizer and activist Gail Reed, simply introducing her as the international director of the nonprofit group Medical Education Cooperation.

Mitchell lead with this incredibly slanted question on the Cuban health system: "What do you see as the advantages of the Cuban system, the low infant mortality rate, for instance, which is legendary around the world, but also the gaps that you're trying to – trying to fill?"

Reed recited Communist Party talking points perfectly: "...what they've done in health care here wasn't built in a day. It was built over the last 50 years. It was built with a public policy of emphasizing health care for all. So today you really do have universal health care, free."

Reed continued to sing the praises of the socialized medical care: "They still make house calls in Cuba. And so it's something that is built over time and has given them outcomes very comparable to those in the states in Canada. As you mentioned, low infant mortality. Women in Cuba are living to over 80 years old now, a bit more than men, at 76."

Mitchell briefly feigned balance, observing: "It's not without its problems. There are other problems here." However, she then blamed the U.S. trade embargo for those problems: "We shouldn't under-emphasize the infrastructure problems, the impact of the embargo."

She could barely contain how impressed she was with Cuba's medical labs: "Fidel Castro once showed me the laboratories when they were briefly controversial, there was an erroneous claim that they were biomedical weaponry, and he showed, you know, that they were basically making antibiotics under American contracts....It was quite amazing." Reed added that Mitchell "got into the inner-sanctum to see what was going on."

After Mitchell brought up shortages in those medications, Reed acknowledged: "Yes, there are shortages and I would say there's a few different kinds of problems." She added: "And right now, the emphasis is really trying to make this health system more sustainable." Mitchell concluded: "And work the way it has been envisioned."


Here are portions of the March 27 segment:

1:38PM ET

ANDREA MITCHELL: Cuba is highly regarded for its health care, and especially one of Fidel Castro's signature projects, which is training doctors, doctors who then provide free medical care throughout Latin America. During one of my many past visits to Cuba, Fidel Castro took me on a tour of the medical school to meet the first class of young doctors in training. Now a decade later the school has graduated almost 10,000 doctors. Last year's class included 19 Americans, among students from 22 countries. As the U.S. debates health care, today we thought it would be good to take a look back to the schools. We went back to the Latin American medical school here to talk to American medical students about what they're learning about medicine, about Cuba, and about themselves.

CYNTHIA AGUILERA [LOS ANGELES, CA]: The idea is that we come from under-represented and under-served communities and that after graduating with no debt, no worries about paying off loans and having to get a high-paying job, we can return to our communities and work in them and try to uplift them the same way that Cuba uplifted us.

HEATHER ROSS [BLAKELY, GA]: I wanted to go into a program that would permit me or train me to become the type of doctor that I wanted to be, versus having ideal – usually when you enter medical school they tell you, "Okay, we hope you can hold on to your ideals." Here they actually teach you ideals from day one, in hopes that you will be a physician who will go into you're community and become a leader as well as change agent for improving your community.

(...)

MARISSA ROBINSON [PITTSBURGH, PA]: I've always wanted to come to this country because of, you know, being from America, being American, it's somewhat taboo. It's something we're not familiar with. So, I've always wanted to come here and then what really intrigued me was the fact that Cuba produces excellent doctors. And then also, this curriculum is in Spanish and I've always wanted to learn Spanish, so I'm doing all of that.

(...)

MITCHELL: And joining me now is Gail Reed, the international director of a nonprofit based in Atlanta, the Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba. Working to bridge Cuban and American medical treatments. Thanks so much, Gail. Great to have you here.

GAIL REED: Thank you.

MITCHELL: We're seeing this debate in our country about universal health care, the mandate, the Supreme Court arguments today. We have universal coverage here. Of course it's a very different society and an economic model that would not work in the United States. What do you see as the advantages of the Cuban system, the low infant mortality rate, for instance, which is legendary around the world, but also the gaps that you're trying to – trying to fill?

GAIL REED: I was struck by what one of the medical students said about having so little and building up to more, because obviously what they've done in health care here wasn't built in a day. It was built over the last 50 years. It was built with a public policy of emphasizing health care for all. So today you really do have universal health care, free.

It is also a system that emphasizes very much prevention built on primary care clinics, doctors and nurses, sort of dotting the country, and they have worked very hard in that area, which I think has economic implications when you're trying to health on a shoestring, prevention's very important. You avoid those big-ticket items, at least in the first round. And the other thing is, it's back to basics. It really is. The doctor and nurse are in the community. They make house calls. There's no middle man.

MITCHELL: House calls?

REED: Like I remember in the '50s when I was a kid we used to get house calls from our pediatricians. They still make house calls in Cuba. And so it's something that is built over time and has given them outcomes very comparable to those in the states in Canada. As you mentioned, low infant mortality. Women in Cuba are living to over 80 years old now, a bit more than men, at 76. And prevention is the name of the game in terms of the vaccines, in terms of health education, and of course it's not without its problems.

MITCHELL: It's not without its problems. There are other problems here. We shouldn't under-emphasize the infrastructure problems, the impact of the embargo. What do you try to do in bringing in doctors who train here, do they teach? Do you also deal with vaccines and other supplies, although Cuba has a very – Fidel Castro once showed me the laboratories when they were briefly controversial, there was an erroneous claim that they were biomedical weaponry, and he showed, you know, that they were basically making antibiotics under American contracts...

REED: You got into the inner-sanctum to see what was going on.

MITCHELL: It was quite amazing. But there are shortages, clearly.

REED: Yes, there are shortages and I would say there's a few different kinds of problems. One kind of problem is very similar to what we face in the States, which are chronic diseases the kind of diseases, heart disease, hypertension, cancer, the obesity that causes it. And then there's infrastructure problems that come from years of economic problems in the '90s. Some of the hospitals need repair. The salaries are not what they should be. And of course, you know, I would say you do have to take your own bed sheets in some of the hospitals even though you can get a heart transplant for free. So they weigh these things. And right now, the emphasis is really trying to make this health system more sustainable.

MITCHELL: And work the way it has been envisioned. Gail Reed, thank you so much for joining us today.

REED: You're welcome, I'm – with pleasure.

MITCHELL: Great insight and it's good to see you. And we'll be right back with a special edition of Andrea Mitchell Reports, live from Havana.

Comments

#1 Is Andrea Michael Moore, part 2?

Too late, Andrea. That tactic was tried and failed. The Libs fail to mention that Cuba is a communist country. They are not allowed to say anything critical of government programs.

#2 Scenes you would like to see...

Cuba provided a private showing of Michael Moore’s Sicko for Cuban doctors. There was general disgust and some doctors got up and left.

Cuba decided NOT to release the film for public consumption because it was deemed potentially too dangerous for the public tranquility.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Fellow medical student Heather Ross declared: "...usually when you enter medical school they tell you, 'Okay, we hope you can hold on to your ideals.' Here they actually teach you ideals from day one, in hopes that you will be a physician who will go into you're community and become a leader as well as change agent for improving your community.

"They actually teach you ideals from day one,"  That is a pretty good howler.

+++++++++

I can just imagine Heather getting a job – just how, I am not so sure, but let’s glide past that – as an intern in some American hospital, and then proceeding to show the staff ”how it’s done.”

Ah, to be a fly on the wall when that goes down…  It is possible that an Ideal or two could get bruised in the process

- Looking forward to the self-annihilation of the Manipulated Stories Machine.

#3 If she tries that crap in an American hospital, out she goes.

There is no room in medical training for that kind of insubordination. Residents are not even licensed to practice independently, per se. They are listed essentially as physicians in training until they complete their residencies and either move to sub-specialties via fellowship or another residency or go into practice and complete their boards. The era of the general practitioner who rode with the ambulances and had one internship year was over more than three generations of physicians past.

I wouldn't give that young, deluded tool more than a few months before she clashed with an attending and had her butt verbally kicked by her Residency Director.

#4 It's a great life

Limo drives me to work every morning while my family relaxes, spending time between our country estate and our city apartment..

Currently working on a major investment with a couple of co workers, hope to have a new pair of shoes by next fall.

#5 Shoes

ROTFLMAO!

#6 If Cuba is so great why don't

If Cuba is so great why don't they all just move there? Leave the rest of us alone.

I have often wondered, if we split the USA in two, how long it would take for the liberal side to build a wall to keep their people in?

#7 It's not to keep them in...

it's to protect them from the corrupting influences of conservatism. :-)

#8 Isn't this the country where you need to bring

Your own sheets to the hospital? Yup, they have one hell of a medical system
.

Proud member of the 53%!

#9 Rad - don't think you'd want to ruin your sheets in Cuba's

Don't think that you'd want to ruin your sheets in Cuba's facilities:

Cuba's medical facilities

(;~/ gary

#10 Gary

Not to worry. I would never spend my money in a country run by commie's.

Proud member of the 53%!

#11 Free! Free ! Free!

Could someone who tweets find where this Cynthia Aguilera is or will be practicing? She's clearly ready and will provide free care, so someone needs to prepare a sign for her office door: ALWAYS OPEN, ALWAYS FREE! TO EACH ACCORDING TO NEED...BUT TO EACH... IT'S FREEEEEE!

#12 How wonderful. Cuban doctors still make house calls.

Doctor: "¿Dónde está tu casa?"

Patient: "55' Buick, #1560 calle de Huevos Rancheros."

PS: anyone catch The Mummy's new 'Lean Forward' spot? It's subtitled "Whichever party benefits."

#13 andrea

Andrea Mitchell is a bird brain.

#14 You MUST apologize!

You just insulted 12,541 species of birds.

"Occasionally, and randomly, problems and solutions collide. The probability of collisions decreases geometrically as the size of the committee created to force these collisions increases."

#15 Sounds like

propaganda

A Recession is when your neighbor is out of a job. A Depression is when YOU are out of a job.. A recovery is when OBAMA is out of a job Hat tip to Ronald Reagan

#16 How's the food?

Bet the coffee is better. Is it true they use live chickens for therapeutic purposes?

Trust America not politicians

#17 Oh, Ann-Dree-Ahhhh

We're not 'debating health care' in America. You Leftists had the chance to 'debate' it in 2010 but decided that you had the political muscle to just ram it on through. No, today we're at the bludgeoning stage...ObamaCare and all the Leftists who haughtily wagged fingers at anyone who dared speak against it. Recall Nancy Pelosi, who admonished, "Are you SERIOUS?" at someone who dared ask the very sensible question about the mandate. That would be the same very sensible question the Court is wrestling with now.

And where is Nan Pelosi now? In hiding?

#18 waiting for health care in Canada

A Canadian I know waited nearly two years for an MRI. Say what you will about this place- the VA Medical Center West Lost Angeles- MRI's are no problem. Why on earth would anyone want what Canada has? Must be the meds because I just do not understand.

Trust America not politicians

#19 imagine that....

Cuba is a prison but you get free medical care.

#20 That's good!

:-)

#21 Do you really want a Cuban

Do you really want a Cuban trained surgeon taking out your gall bladder or performing that heart transplant?

I didn't think so.

So Andrea you're telling me the medical school in Cuba is on par with John Hopkins or Duke?

Please, sell that somewhere else!

#22 Well sure

Maybe they can open a law school, with full credit transfer from Georgetown

#23 If you want to learn battlefield medicine, it's great.

The Cuban system is wonderful if you are a high party/government functionary, but scary and medieval when it comes to the average citizen. I know quite a few Cuban citizens from my Spanish heritage, and they will tell you the facilities for normal citizens are frightening, spartan and very badly equipped and supplied. For the top echelons, the clinics have the latest medications, supplies and best staff. Certainly not a model we want to emulate, since their laws certainly do not contain the same protections and standards of practice we have here.

#24 Here You Go

http://www.babalublog.com/archives/001470.html   Don't miss http://www.therealcuba.com/Page10.htm

Remember when Castro had his surgery? He imported a surgeon rather than trust one of his countrymen. And then there was Castro's order to not follow the surgeon's recommendations. Must be spending a fortune on diapers and new trousers.

#25 This could double as a puff piece for ObamaCare

It seems apt to mention here that the elites who wrote, in a secret and perhaps smoked filled room, the recently passed (by probably the worse chicanery in US history) ObamaCare took pains to exempt themselves, and to preserve for themselves the deluxe and exclusive health care that they crafted for themselves many years ago.

Interesting parallel

"quite a few Cuban citizens from my Spanish heritage, and they will tell you the facilities for normal citizens are frightening, spartan and very badly equipped and supplied."

It seems that Andrea did not get around to interviewing any of those people.

- Looking forward to the self-annihilation of the Manipulated Stories Machine.

#26 Different tiers of medicine

If Obamacare isn't repealed that is exactly what we'll have here. Congress people and their staff won't be waiting on line for care. The rest of us, not so much.

Proud member of the 53%!

#27 Well,

That's where we're headed. Let's all sit back and enjoy (cough, cough) the ride. :-(

"Occasionally, and randomly, problems and solutions collide. The probability of collisions decreases geometrically as the size of the committee created to force these collisions increases."

#28 If it's so great ...

... how come we don't see wealthy Americans going down for their major medical problems?

Any takers?

Didn't think so.

Comrade Bubba

#29 Please, all of you students of that wonderful system,

stay out of my community!! I don't need a 3rd world doctor, untrained in anything other than leeches and poultices(or is it poultici?) practicing what passes for medicine on me.

And, I don't have to take my own sheets to the doctor's office when I go in. 

I find it strange that Chavez has to go to Cuber for his cancer treatment, but Fidel, when he needs treatment, goes to Spain.  Why is that? 

To re-elect Obama would be like the Titanic backing up and hitting the iceberg again.

#30 ding bat Andrea

Sure Cuban health care is great if you are a connected communist but not so much if you are a pessant unconnected Cuban farmer.

Just like Congress decided not to include themselves in Obamacare and that probably includes Mitchell since hubby Alan Greenspan is/was a federal employee..god the hypocracy of these liberal snobjournolists is disgustiing

#31 Talk about Stupid...

What's with network news people like Andrea stupid doesn't make a mark on these people.
That classroom is a selected group of Communist Party Card carrying Castro lovers. They were selected because they tow the Party line, perfectly.

A friend of mine married a Cuban and he told me stories of the Castro Communists and the brutality of the regime that Castro rules over the people of Cuba. He holds absolute power over all the people and those who buck the system pay dearly. Maybe Andrea prefers the likes of a Castro because she can fit in with the Circle of Upper Echelon Party leaders. But the common person of Cuba does not get the high quality medical services that the Upper Communist Party and incoming Communist people get like Hugo Chavez. Duct tape and used gauze from the waste baskets of the Party Leaders.

#32 Yeah, but...

you get free aspirin.

#33 Of course you do

That's the Cuban contraceptive program

#34 Andrea, Andrea, go live in Cuba....

What's with our left leaning MSM morons who espouse on the merits of communist Cuba and the Wonderful World Of Dufus Liberals. Andrea. if you get away from Communist Party watched over students and ask honest to goodness real Cuban about the price they pay for so-called State Controlled medical services. That US paycheck of yours would be ripped to shreds. Remember Andrea, you are a decedent Imperialist. All those wonderful perks you so generously enjoy like the BMW's, and Mercedes Benz would be taken away. Your preferential treatment in services you quickly take for granted are taken away. Your Penthouse suite and executive parking are taken away. Your special hairdresser, and clothier are gone too. Should I keep going. And the State sets your wage Andrea, not the money coming in from sponsors. Remember Andrea, sponsors. Money from sponsors, In Cuba the State is your sponsor, and there isn't six or seven competing TV networks. There's only one, Cuba. So an old gal on the news is a dime a dozen and easily removed to make way for a new fresh face. Especially a Government leaders niece who needs a job on State run TV.

#35 MSNBC

So let's see MSNBC off all its employees to switch their health insurance to that of Cuba's and see how that works. I bet they wouldn't get any takers, especially Andrea.

#36 Hey Mitchell, there are

Hey Mitchell, there are people that have been locked up in Cuban prisons LONGER than Nelson Mandela. Castro has his goons guns down women and children in make-shift rafts who try to flee the island.

Yet here you are praising a system under which you have NEVER lived under and tell everyone how rosey it is. I got news for you, if you haven't figured it out already...you're a LUNATIC!

You're terminally stupid and you're nothing but a useful idiot!

Poetic justice is when you and any other idiot like you gets thrown in jail with no trial like the Cubans.

"It may be true that you can't fool all the people all the time, but you can fool enough of them to rule a large country"......Will Durant

#37 "HIghly regarded" Cuban healthcare system?

Who is it highly regarded by? The Haitians?

#38 Che - Che - Che ---- Chain of Fools

(With apologies to Aretha Franklin)

Fellow medical student Heather Ross declared: "...usually when you enter medical school they tell you, 'Okay, we hope you can hold on to your ideals.' Here they actually teach you ideals from day one, in hopes that you will be a physician who will go into you're community and become a leader as well as change agent for improving your community."

Che Guevera was a doctor.

#39 Walk

Go take a walk around town, Andrea, and report back what you see. Tell us how wonderful Cuba is doing under communism and socialism.

And how do you apply a third world health care system from a tropical island of 11 million people and apply it to the USA with several hundred million?

This Cuba is wonderful narrative is getting so old a dusty. Move on already. The place is a dump. Total dump. Go interview Cubans in Miami and let them tell us what Cuba is really like.

#40 The Mayo Clinic is in Minnesota, Lady, and not Cuba.

"what really intrigued me was the fact that Cuba produces excellent doctors."

Really? Is that why so many people flock to Cuba for medical care? What's that, they don't? Humm...

It's rather ironic that the woman thinks that Cuba produces "excellent" doctors, but, if you asked her, she wouldn't be able to name a single medical procedure that those "excellent" Cuban doctors have developed. No, they simply copy the medical treatments and procedures that doctors in other countries have actually developed. The only thing Cuban doctors excel at is mimicry, copying the successes of others.

The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States. The US Constitution

Unless you're a fetus. The US Supreme Court

Or Anwar al-Awlaki.

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