What Happens When All the Doctors Get Sick?

“We’re on the Italian track,” of mass infection among healthcare providers, one expert said.

By Olivia Messer – 3/24/2020

Thousands of doctors and nurses in Italy have contracted the 2019 novel coronavirus, and American health workers have said they’re terrified of getting the illness, especially in the face of startling and systemic equipment shortages.

Some emergency room doctors in the U.S. have already tested positive for the virus, and other medical providers have personally prepared for the possibility of infection—creating wills, isolating off parts of their houses from the rest of their families, recording bedtime stories for their children on their phones. But what happens to an already-cascading national health crisis when, even if equipment shortages are resolved, medical personnel are falling out of rotation?

Without concerted action to protect healthcare workers, experts said, America could be facing a shortage when its citizens need them most.

Irwin Redlener, director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University and an expert on U.S. readiness for pandemics, said there were three main ways to staff hospitals if a large number of providers get sick.

The first scenario is already playing out in New York City, where retired health officials—doctors, nurses, administrators, dietitians, and more—were recently asked to join the Big Apple’s medical reserves. More than 1,000 retired healthcare professionals and private practice physicians answered the call in just one day last week.

“Many of us in the business are worried about this, about the back-up plan for if they’re ill or have to stay home or—God forbid—don’t survive,” said Redlener. “The only problem with bringing in retired people is that they’re older, and many will have preexisting conditions.”

Then there’s the federal National Disaster Medical System, which exists to supplement health and medical systems during times of crisis. The system has sent reserve doctors from all over the country to respond to emergencies, including the aftermath of natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy. The pool of doctors and nurses from the system can be requested by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial authorities.

But those resources are finite, and travel is no simple matter in the face of a creeping trend toward nationwide lockdown.

“If we’re dealing with a single major disaster someplace, then we have enough for that, but if we have clusters all over the country pop up, it becomes a problem because there’s so much demand across the board,” Redlener said. “For every health professional we call up, we take them away from their regular jobs, which are also critical.” 

A physician might not, for example, be able to take off to help treat the outbreaks in Washington state or New York if their own hospital is having trouble with staffing because of the spread of infection there.

A third option Redlener cited would invoke the use of international medical graduates who have been educated, trained, and employed as physicians or nurses in other countries, some of whom already live in the U.S. and are waiting to be placed in an American gig.

“If you’re moving to the U.S. and want to practice medicine here, you usually have to take a residency all over again in the U.S., and it’s very difficult to secure places in those programs,” he explained. “For those people, it’s time to think about waiving the requirements to repeat a full-blown residency.”

Of course, none of this would feel as precarious if it weren’t for the dire shortage of personal protective equipment, including masks, for medical professionals, which federal officials have promised to shore up.

Many hospitals have lowered standards of care, delayed elective surgeries, and begun utilizing telemedicine in unprecedented volumes to accommodate the potential surge of critically ill patients, as Slate reported.

For better or for worse, the options in the U.S. mirror what’s been done in Italy to handle the dramatic caseload of more roughly 60,000 patients. As of last week, more than 2,629 health care workers in Italy had reportedly contracted COVID-19. Throughout the country, medical students and nurses have graduated early to work in the field, technicians and medical assistants in training were fast-tracked to the front lines, the country’s health ministry has asked retired doctors to return to work, and health workers have put in double shifts with few breaks.

Health providers also succumbed to the coronavirus in China—including a whistleblower in Wuhan who tried to call attention to the deadly disease. But safety measures largely implemented in Hubei province to protect healthcare workers were meticulous, according to William Haseltine, president of the global health think tank ACCESS Health International, who recently chaired the U.S.-China Health Summit in Wuhan, where the virus is believed to have originated.

“All of their healthcare workers were outfitted with high-quality hazmat outfits—not makeshift,” said Haseltine. “If you were in what’s called ‘controlled quarantine’ in a hotel room, the person who delivered your food was in a hazmat outfit. The people who came in to clean your room were in full hazmat outfits and cleaned your room with Lysol every day.” 

Meanwhile, in the U.S., in addition to nationwide supply shortages for protective gear, precautions and preparations vary from state to state.

“We have contingency plans, a command center, cross-site privileges for staffing, so we can move bodies around if needs arise and staff gets sick,” said Rob Davidson, an emergency physician at Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial in Fremont, Michigan. Davidson also serves as executive director of the Committee to Protect Medicare, a self-described public advocacy and grassroots lobbying group that works “to persuade elected officials to support health care for all Americans.” 

“We’re preparing for this, but don’t know when it’s going to hit and how bad,” he told The Daily Beast on Friday. As of Monday morning, the total number of cases in Michigan had more than doubled, surpassing 1,000. At least nine people had died.

Davidson said he knew of at least one physician at risk of severe infection who transferred his practice to telemedicine, and Davidson said that his family decided he should isolate himself in the basement of their home if he comes into contact with a positive patient that requires intubation or other intense exposure.

“Our dedication is to doing the right thing for our patient, and what if we can’t do good enough medicine, or end up choosing who lives and who dies just because there were too many patients?” asked Davidson. “The nightmare scenarios that you hear playing out in Italy, that’s where none of us want to be.”

Do you know something we should about 2019 novel coronavirus, or how your medical providers are responding to it? Email Olivia.Messer@TheDailyBeast.com or securely at olivia.messer@protonmail.com from a non-work device.

He was far from alone in wondering how the system might respond.

“The entire hospitalist team at my hospital is terrified,” said an internal medicine doctor in Ohio who asked to remain anonymous over fear of retaliation from her employer. “Our worst fear is contracting the virus and spreading it to our spouses and children. We are worried about our patients, of course, but none of us want our personal decision of becoming a doctor—and serving on the front lines—to adversely affect the ones we love.”

She said that older doctors in her practice—primarily those with grown children and no loans—have mentioned that they’ve considered quitting.

“Fear of harming your family will lead to those thoughts in even the most virtuous physician,” she said.

A pharmacy executive who works at a rehabilitation hospital in Austin, Texas—and who also requested anonymity over fear of professional retaliation—described a similar calculus.

“My wife is a surgical physician’s assistant, and I work with elderly people, on average in their seventies, who are mostly recovering from strokes and hip surgeries,” he said, adding that his 71-year-old mother lives in his home and helps care for his one-year-old baby with a congenital condition who is vulnerable to severe infections—and his kindergarten-aged daughter.

After reading what he called “horror stories” about “not enough gowns, not enough masks,” the pharmacist said he and his wife began discussing contingency plans for the possibility that they could end up in the intensive care unit after contracting the disease.

“Worst case scenario, my kids lose both parents,” the pharmacist said, adding that he was processing his fear the way many other Americans were: “wine and denial.”

Dr. Bernard Ashby, a vascular cardiologist based in Miami Beach, Florida, told The Daily Beast that high numbers of sick—or dead—medical providers is “a plausible scenario given that we’re not protecting them.”

“That would spell out disaster for our patients and our healthcare system,” Ashby said, adding that, like most doctors, he’s more worried about becoming a vector than about getting sick himself. “I have a newborn child and a mother with chronic illness. I’m very concerned about spreading it to my family, so I’m currently self-isolating from them. It’s tough.”

“There’s been a failure of leadership at multiple levels, and because of that, the healthcare system will get overwhelmed, and a lot of people will suffer unnecessarily,” said Ashby. “We will suffer unnecessary casualties as a result of a lack of proactive measures to mitigate this pandemic.”

Ashby said that hospitals all over the country should be screening the temperature of providers as they come into work and testing hospital staff more readily, which has not yet been possible because of the nationwide shortage of diagnostic kits.

But based on the federal response to the crisis and the lack of supplies in the U.S., said Haseltine, “We’re on the Italian track.”

Losing doctors and nurses to the coronavirus “is going to be devastating,” he continued, noting that the overwhelming fear “is already psychologically extremely damaging to our healthcare workers.”

And as a country, he said, “It puts us in even higher jeopardy.”

TUCKER: DEMS PUTTING “WOKENESS ABOVE ALL” BY BLOCKING CORONAVIRUS RELIEF

Tucker: Dems Putting "Wokeness Above All" By Blocking Coronavirus Relief

Democratic legislation “uses the words diverse or diversity more than 60 times”

Steve Watson  – MARCH 24, 2020

Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson slammed Democrats for holding up the coronavirus relief legislation, urging that they are “indulging their creepy ideological obsessions” by inserting stuff that has absolutely “nothing to do with fighting the pandemic.”

Carlson highlighted several parts of the 1,400 page House Democratic bill, which is stuffed with pork, and noted that most of it is about being ‘woke’ rather than fighting the killer virus.

“The bill would require every corporation that receives coronavirus aid to have officers and a budget dedicated to diversity and inclusion initiatives for a minimum of five years after they get the money,” Carlson noted.

“Because that is going to keep America healthy and prosperous, just like it has,” Carlson sarcastically emphasised.

“Companies would also have to produce elaborate racial reports for the government listing the skin color and the sex of their officers and boards of directors. They have to prove they give enough money to firms owned by women and nonwhites, and of course how much they spend on diversity initiatives,” he continued, pointing to the relevant sections of the bill.

Carlson noted that the bill “uses the words diverse or diversity more than 60 times.”

“What does that have to do with the pandemic that might kill you?” he asserted, adding “Not one thing. Just more ugly race politics, the kind they specialize in.”

“This is insanity, it’s dangerous insanity,” he proclaimed, adding “Who cares what color your scientists are?”

IMMIGRATION LAWYER REVEALS BREWING MIGRANT CORONA VIRUS CRISIS ON SOUTHERN BORDER

Watch: Immigration Lawyer Reveals Brewing Migrant Corona Virus Crisis on Southern Border

Border crossers are being tested for COVID-19

  – MARCH 17, 2020

Infowars reporter Tim Reames interviews southern border crossers about a possible border shutdown and receives key intel from an immigrant lawyer on how coronavirus could spread quickly through the camps of people wanting U.S. asylum.

Her solution is to let migrants into the United States while they await trial, while upwards of 40% never show up to their court dates.


 

SCIENTISTS DISCOVER HIV-LIKE “MUTATION” WHICH MAKES CORONAVIRUS EXTREMELY INFECTIOUS

Scientists Discover HIV-Like "Mutation" Which Makes Coronavirus Extremely Infectious

“This virus may use the packing mechanisms of other viruses such as HIV.”

Zero Hedge – FEBRUARY 27, 2020

While mainstream scientists continue to perform mental gymnastics to insist that the new coronavirus wasn’t man-made, new research from scientists in China and Europe reveal that the disease happens to have an ‘HIV-like mutation’.

This allows it to bind with human cells up to 1,000 times stronger than the Sars virus, according to SCMP.

Recall that at the end of January, a team of Indian scientists wrote in a now-retracted, scandalous paper claiming that the coronavirus may have been genetically engineered to incorporate parts of the HIV genome.

They wrote “This uncanny similarity of novel inserts in the 2019- nCoV spike protein to HIV-1 gp120 and Gag is unlikely to be fortuitous in nature,” meaning – it was unlikely to have occurred naturally.

Scientists Discover HIV-Like “Mutation” Which Makes Coronavirus Extremely Infectious

https://banned.video/watch?id=5e571291e53f4d001c3ce08f

https://infowarsmedia.com/js/player.js

Dr. Francis Boyle joins Mike Adams on The Alex Jones Show to break down the toll has taken for standing up for the truth in the wake of bioweapon development.

Fast forward to new research by a team from Nankai University, which writes that COV-19 has an ‘HIV-like mutation’ that  allows it to quickly enter the human body by binding with a receptor called ACE2 on a cell membrane.

Other highly contagious viruses, including HIV and Ebola, target an enzyme called furin, which works as a protein activator in the human body. Many proteins are inactive or dormant when they are produced and have to be “cut” at specific points to activate their various functions.

When looking at the genome sequence of the new coronavirus, Professor Ruan Jishou and his team at Nankai University in Tianjin found a section of mutated genes that did not exist in Sars, but were similar to those found in HIV and Ebola.SCMP

“This finding suggests that 2019-nCoV [the new coronavirus] may be significantly different from the Sars coronavirus in the infection pathway,” reads the paper published this month on Chinaxiv.org – a platform used by the Chinese Academy of Sciences which releases research papers prior to peer-review.

“This virus may use the packing mechanisms of other viruses such as HIV,” they added.

For those confused, what the latest scientific paper claims is that whereas the Coronavirus may indeed contain a specific HIV-like feature that makes it extremely infectious, that was the result of a rather bizarre “mutation.” However, since the scientists did not make the scandalous claim that Chinese scientists had created an airborne version of HIV, but instead blamed a mutation, they will likely not be forced to retract it, even if it the odds of such a “random” mutation taking place naturally are extremely small.

As a reminder, the running narrative is that the new coronavirus lie dormant in bats somewhere between 20 and 70 years, then ‘crossed over’ to humans through and unknown species – possibly a Pangolin – before it emerged at a Wuhan, China meat market roughly 900 feet from a level-4 bioweapons lab.

And what were they researching at said lab? Among other things – why Ebola and HIV can lie dormant in bats without causing diseases.

According to the new study, the ‘mutation’ can generate a structure known as a cleavage site in the new coronavirus’ spike protein, SCMP reports. “Compared to the Sars’ way of entry, this binding method is “100 to 1,000 times” as efficient, according to the study.”

The virus uses the outreaching spike protein to hook on to the host cell, but normally this protein is inactive. The cleavage site structure’s job is to cheat the human furin protein, so it will cut and activate the spike protein and cause a “direct fusion” of the viral and cellular membranes. SCMP

(a recent paper published by Dr. Zhou Peng of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, meanwhile, is “Immunogenicity of the spike glycoprotein  of Bat SARS-like coronavirus.“)

According to the report, a follow-up study from a Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhn confirmed Nankai University’s findings.

The mutation could not be found in Sars, Mers or Bat-CoVRaTG13, a bat coronavirus that was considered the original source of the new coronavirus with 96 per cent similarity in genes, it said.

This could be “the reason why SARS-CoV-2 is more infectious than other coronaviruses”, Li wrote in a paper released on Chinarxiv on Sunday.

Meanwhile, a study by French scientist Etienne Decroly at Aix-Marseille University, which was published in the scientific journal Antiviral Research on February 10, also found a “furin-like cleavage site” that is absent in similar coronaviruses.

Chinese scientists speculate that drugs targeting the fuirn enzyme could potentially hinder the virus’ replication inside the human body. Drugs up for consideration include “a series of HIV-1 therapeutic drugs such as Indinavir, Tenofovir Alafenamide, Tenofovir Disoproxil and Dolutegravir and hepatitis C therapeutic drugs including Boceprevir and Telaprevir,” according to Li’s study.

The conclusion is in line with several reports from doctors who self-administered HIV drugs after testing positive for coronavirus, however there have been no clinical tests to confirm the theory.

All perfectly “natural.”

 

Senator Cotton: China Refusing to Hand Over Evidence About Wuhan BioLab

New report says lab was likely source of coronavirus outbreak.

Published  on 

Senator Tom Cotton says that China is refusing to hand over evidence concerning the bio-safety level 4 research lab in Wuhan despite a new report from biological scientists at the South China University of Technology saying it may have been the source of the coronavirus outbreak.

During an appearance on Fox News, Cotton told Maria Bartiromo that new evidence confirmed the source of the virus was not the meat market in Wuhan.

“Here is what we do know. This virus did not originate in the Wuhan animal market,” said Cotton. “Epidemiologists who are widely respected from China published a study in the international journal Lancet have demonstrated that several of the original cases did NOT have any contact with that food market. The virus went into that food market before it came out of that food market. So we don’t know where it originated… We also know that only a few miles away from that market is China’s only bio-safety Level Four Super Laboratory that researches human infectious diseases.”

Cotton said that China’s “duplicity and dishonesty” meant that questions needed to be asked about the lab but that “China right now is not giving any evidence on that question at all” and Beijing was being “very secretive” on what happens at the lab.

Cotton also accused China of consistently blocking American scientists from traveling to Wuhan to assist in discovering the origins of the virus.

A new report by scientists at the South China University of Technology in Guangzhou, China concludes that “the killer coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory in Wuhan.”

One of the laboratories named in the report which was conducting research on bat coronavirus was located just 280 meters from the site of the Wuhan meat market.

For weeks, the media has demonized anyone who suggested the lab could have been responsible for the coronavirus outbreak as a dangerous conspiracy theorist peddling fake news.

However, now that CNN/NY Times journalist Ezra Cheung tweeted precisely that yesterday, one wonders whether they will begin to change their tune.

CAP

More Americans infected with coronavirus

2/17/2020

The second of two flights carrying Americans home from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, quarantined in Japan, has landed in Texas. There were 380 Americans on board the ship, where dozens of passengers tested positive for the coronavirus.

WHO DUBS CORONAVIRUS ‘PUBLIC ENEMY NUMBER 1’

WHO Dubs Coronavirus 'Public Enemy Number 1'

Death toll rises as virus continues global spread

Deutsche Welle – FEBRUARY 12, 2020

More than 1,000 people have so far lost their lives to the new coronavirus, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called on the world to act and warned that “a virus is more powerful in creating political, economic, and socialist upheaval than any terrorist attack.”

“If the world doesn’t want to wake up and consider this enemy virus as public enemy number one, I don’t think we will learn from our lessons,” he said. “It’s the number one enemy to the whole world, and to the whole of humanity.”

CAP

The number of fatalities from the virus reached 1,113 on Wednesday after China’s hardest-hit Hubei province reported 94 new deaths and three more were reported elsewhere in the mainland. In its daily update, the province’s health commission also confirmed another 2,105 new cases on Tuesday, the lowest since January 30.

Ghebreyesus, who previously served as the Ethiopian foreign minister, called on investing in prevention measures and helping countries with weaker health systems, He warned that “if this virus makes to (a country with) a weaker health system, it will wreak havoc.”

“For now it doesn’t seem so, but it doesn’t mean it will not happen. It may,” he said.

The virus has already paralyzed China’s economy as many large companies urged their employees to stay at home in order to curb the spread of the disease.

Meanwhile, an additional 39 cases have been reported on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which was being quarantined for a second week off the coast of Japan.

The new reports bring the total number of cases on the ship, which has 3,700 passengers and crew on board, to 174. A quarantine officer was also found to be infected with the virus.

COVID-19

The WHO chief also announced a new official name for the disease, saying that the agency has dubbed it COVID-19.

The “CO” stands for “corona”, “VI” stands for “virus”, “D” for disease, and “19” for the year 2019, as the virus was first officially confirmed in December last year, according to Ghebreyesus.

The UN health agency intentionally avoided names that could be linked to a geographical region, an animal, or a group of people, he said.

‘We are not defenseless’

The WHO is currently hosting a conference of 400 medical experts who should prepare a “roadmap” for the outbreak response, including discussion on possible treatments.

“They will take time to develop, but in the meantime, we are not defenseless,” Ghebreyesus said, noting that a first vaccine “could be ready in 18 months.”

CAP

Ghebreyesus also recommended washing your hands, keeping at a distance from people who are coughing, and — if you are coughing yourself — covering your mouth with a tissue or your elbow.

There are now more than 44,200 confirmed cases across China, based on previously released figures from the government.

Separately, Chinese epidemiologist and senior medical advisor Zhong Nanshan told the Reuters news agency that the outbreak would likely peak before the end of February.

“I hope this outbreak or this event may be over in something like April,” said the 83-year-old Zhong, who was also involved in fighting the 2002-2003 SARS epidemic.

Attorney General Bill Barr Announces Big Plan to Crack Down on Sanctuary Cities

By Jose Nino – 2/12/2020

U.S. Attorney General William Barr recently announced that the Department of Justice would be ramping up efforts to combat “sanctuary cities” and their activities promoting lawlessness.

The Blaze reported that Barr announced this plan at the National Sheriff’s Association 2020 Winter Legislative and Technology Conference on Monday, February 10, 2020.

“The department is filing a complaint against the State of New Jersey seeking declaratory and injunctive relief against its laws that forbid state and local law enforcement from sharing vital information about criminal aliens with DHS,” Barr declared, according to a Fox News report.

santuary

Barr said that legal action against New Jersey is in the works and represents one of numerous lawsuits against municipalities that use “sanctuary city” policies to subvert federal immigration law.

“We are filing a complaint seeking declaratory and injunctive relief against King County, Washington, for the policy,” Barr explained, “that forbids DHS from deporting aliens from the United States using King County International Airport.”

Barr stated that the Justice Department would also be reviewing the actions of “certain district attorneys” who levy lighter charges against foreign nationals in order to pre-empt possibly tougher charges coming from the federal level.

“The express purpose of these policies is to shelter aliens whom local law enforcement has already arrested for crimes,” Barr commented. “This is neither lawful nor sensible.”

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