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Horowitz: Shutdown, not coronavirus, is causing loss of medical personnel

Conservative Review

How many people will die because state governments are issuing erratic orders to suspend vital medical procedures?

Call it common core science being dictated by common core math of the erratic models and simulations from Drs. Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx. Most medical care is shut down in the country to deal with the flow of COVID-19 patients predicted by their models. Then when those models fail to materialize and hospitals are empty from the mythical surge, outside of a few hot spots, medical personnel are furloughed and we are left with the worst of both worlds.

We are told by our new dictators that destroying the entire country from head to toe was worth it in order to save lives of those afflicted with COVID-19, mainly in the New York City area. But what if, in addition to the destroyed jobs and economy and all the lives being lost as an indirect result of the virus, we are also directly destroying lives of other health care patients who cannot get care because of the overbroad and arbitrary shutdown?

In nearly every state, “elective” medical care has been shut down. Now, that might make sense in New York City, where you want to marshal your medical resources to combat COVID-19. But in most other parts of the country, not only are they not overrun with patients, but thanks to the government’s circular logic of shutting down other medical care, they have no patients and are now furloughing staff. At a time when we need to build up our medical personnel, we are actually cutting them, in addition to keeping many Americans in pain.

I have a relative in Cleveland, Ohio, who needs a hip replacement and is in tremendous pain. Thanks to Gov. Mike DeWine’s arbitrary order, such a procedure is deemed “non-essential,” and he must suffer in pain, even though there is plenty of room in the Cleveland Clinic and University hospital systems. Other Cleveland hospitals are already furloughing staff. Oh, and he can’t get enough pain medication because of the state’s other arbitrary edict of cutting off pain medication, while allowing sanctuary cities, which are hubs for illicit drug trafficking, to continue to thrive.

In 2017, liberals estimated that between 28,000 and nearly 100,000 people per year would die if Republicans partially repealed Obamacare. Their rationale was that Republicans would cause many people to be denied critical care, which would eventually lead to death. Obviously, their vision of socialized medicine equaling health care access is convoluted, but their broader principle was actually correct. If people are denied basic preventive care, it will lead to more fatalities. Which is why so much of Obamacare was focused on preventive care.

So, the question is why don’t leaders like Dr. Anthony Fauci recognize this principle when it comes to gratuitously shutting down nearly all medical care aside from COVID-19 treatment – even in areas without a surge of coronavirus illnesses and hospitalizations? For a man who is so fond of simulations and projections, has he calculated how many people will die from a lack of medical care as a result of the unconditional shutdown he so passionately advocates? Moreover, has he simulated how many critical medical personnel will be lost as a result of shutting down their livelihood?

Last week, Boston Medical Center announced it was furloughing 700 employees, 10 percent of its workforce. After Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear ordered the suspension of “elective” surgeries, Appalachian Region Healthcare, the largest hospital chain in eastern Kentucky, laid off 500 employees. Nurse anesthetists are being laid off in Pennsylvania and in other states, even though they are critical to intubating COVID-19 patients. Hundreds of health care workers in Huntington, West Virginia, were laid off, even though there are barely any COVID-19 patients in the state’s hospitals.

Family practice physicians and specialists are seeing their practices disintegrate. According to a HealthLandscape and American Academy of Family Physicians report, 60,000 family practices will close or significantly scale back, and 800,000 of their employees will be laid off by June. That is roughly 43 percent of the workforce nationwide in family medical practices.

Remember how subways can remain open with thousands of people cramming into rail cars, but small offices must close.

Also, last week, the U.S. Navy deployed the USNS Comfort and USNS Mercy to New York City and Los Angeles respectively to deal with what the doomsday crowd was predicting as a hospital bed shortage. They have a combined staff of 1,800 medical personnel and 1,000 beds that have all been pulled away from treating other illness. Yet only 15 individuals have been treated so far on the Mercy and just three on the Comfort, even though it’s in New York City.

And speaking of the military, my former colleague, Jordan Schachtel, obtained a video of a VA hospital in Waco, Texas, which is not accepting veteran patients and is instead telling them to call in their concerns via telephone. They must be slammed with COVID-19 patients, right? Wrong. The hospital is empty.

It’s becoming clear that we cannot simply rely on the misguidance from federal officials and the capricious and arbitrary edicts of governors put in place under murky circumstances two or three weeks ago. It’s time to reassess the definition of “elective” medical care and to recalibrate our entire response to coronavirus. Otherwise, more people will die in the long run because of the cessation of medical care. State legislatures must reconvene and rein in these lawless edicts. Life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness are still God-given rights and must be protected now more than ever.

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