Barack Obama Suggests Donald Trump ‘Denied’ Coronavirus Warnings

obama trump

By Charlie Spiering – 31 Mar 2020

Former President Barack Obama suggested on Twitter on Tuesday that President Donald Trump “denied” warnings of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’ve seen all too terribly the consequences of those who denied warnings of a pandemic,” Obama wrote.

The former president shared an article on Twitter about Trump rolling back fuel economy standards, and also accused the president of “climate denial.”

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“We can’t afford any more consequences of climate denial,” he wrote. “All of us, especially young people, have to demand better of our government at every level and vote this fall.”

Last week, the former president shared an article of “likely scenarios” of how to manage the virus.

“So much depends on our ability to make good decisions going forward along with our ability to remain resilient,” he wrote on Twitter after Trump said he was hopeful that he could loosen restrictions by Easter Sunday.

Obama continues speaking up to criticize or challenge Trump’s response to the coronavirus, despite the president’s best efforts to fight and contain it.

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He also said that attacks on Obamacare were taking place “right when we need care the most.”

 

Covid-19’s meant to be a new Black Death, but in Britain no more people are dying than NORMAL. What does this say about the virus?

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By Peter Andrews 3/31/2020

Many people are waking up to the fact that the Covid-19 “pandemic” is not turning out as billed. When we finally emerge from it, the big question will be how many people have died from the virus. Here’s the most likely outcome.

You can bet that the institutions of international government, and the “experts” advising them, will try to massage and cherry-pick statistics to present the version of events that most closely matches their worst-case scenarios. The fact is, according to their early predictions, we are already long overdue millions of Covid-19 deaths that have failed to materialise.

But even when Covid-19 deaths are recorded, we have seen how it could be that people are dying with coronavirus rather than dying of it. This concept is easy enough to understand, and it encourages one to take a closer look at the breakdown of deaths across an entire society. The more you follow this rabbit hole down, the more interesting the numbers become. It may be somewhat morbid, but it is nonetheless very important.

The most popular twoarticles on the website of The Spectator over the weekend were by Dr John Lee, a recently retired NHS consultant and professor of pathology. He remarks that ‘’we have yet to see any statistical evidence for excess deaths, in any part of the world’’.

How lethal is Covid-19 REALLY? Why massive fatality rates from Italy are MISLEADING

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To check this out, I looked at the British government’s own statistics on total deaths registered weekly across the UK. It shows that in the week ending on the 8th of March 2019, 10,898 people died in total in the UK. This year, in the week ending the 6th of March 2020, the equivalent figure was almost identical: 10,895. Make of that what you will. Statistics are currently available up to March 20, and while there is a lag between the spread of the virus and the resulting deaths, so far only about 1 percent of all mortalities bear any relation to coronavirus, and there is no visible spike. If nothing else, it helps to view the extent of the crisis in proportion – thousands of people die each week, and from the long-term view what we are seeing is not a plague, but a blip.

So when all is said and done, will any additional people die of the coronavirus? And what is meant by extra or additional?

Risk of dying

Understanding this requires a bit of lateral thinking, but it helps to remember that everyone on Earth has a terminal disease: being alive. We all have to go sometime.

Recording exactly how and when we do is a big part of the job of statistician Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter. In a recent blog post, he outlined the concept of background risk. This is obtained by recording all of the people dying in any given year, at any given age. At its most simple, this is the percentage chance a person has of not reaching their next birthday, based solely on their age. Of course, that is not to say that if you are a 40-year-old man you have precisely a 0.2% chance of dying this year – the data are based on averages, and do not apply to individuals.

But nonetheless, across a country or given populations, the averages will be right, and it is possible to predict with great accuracy how many people will die in a given year. In the UK, for example, 600,000 people die annually. But wait a minute! A novel, brand-spanking new coronavirus is terrorising us all. Therefore surely we can expect more people to die this year than would in a normal year? And come year’s end we should be able, with simple arithmetic, to count exactly how many more there were.

In 2009 UK government experts wildly over-hyped dangers of swine flu — is history repeating with Covid-19?

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Spiegelhalter, chair of the Winton Centre for Evidence and Risk Communication at Cambridge University, won’t say exactly what he does think that figure will be. But he does say that if the deaths are towards the lower end of the current estimates, say at around 20,000 in the UK, Covid-19 will end up having ‘’a minimal impact on overall mortality for 2020’’. He told R4 that his findings showed, to his own professed astonishment, that if someone contracts the coronavirus, they’ve got almost exactly the same chance of dying over the ensuing few weeks as they would normally have of dying over the next year, no matter what their age or background health.

And depending on who you ask, that 20,000 figure might still be an overestimate. In fact, Spiegelhalter says that if extra people die it will likely be as a result of the  knock-on effects of the lockdown, such as delayed normal health care, depression and isolation.

American political commentator Candace Owens has been Tweeting consistently about the apparent insignificance of Covid-19 deaths compared to overall trends. She tweeted about this issue in relation to New York City, where meaningless figures are being waved around by the media.

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Final destination

With all of the numbers being bandied about these days by various universities and governments, one would swear that they knew exactly what they were talking about. Make no mistake: this air of certainty is just a front. It is definitely too early to accurately gauge how many – if any – extra people will die because of coronavirus. It will depend on how four key pieces of information intersect.

These are:

  1. How many people will become infected by Covid-19?
  2. How much does Covid-19 increase the risk of death?
  3. Are deaths being properly recorded? Of those people who die having contracted coronavirus, are they dying from the virus, or just with it?
  4. Of those who died, how many had comorbidities that would have killed them this year anyway?

Since all of this began, the mainstream media have focused almost entirely on the first of these points, and stressing with an onslaught of material how important it is to slow the spread. The most extreme possible measures have been implemented to do that. Meanwhile, the three other points could end up comparing Covid-19 pretty much to the common flu. Only careful consideration by governments of all the key factors will result in the best future decisions.

It is hard to believe that when this all blows over, the damage that will have been done by the shutdown measures – to businesses, to civil liberties, to individual lives and, of course, to the global economy – could have been for nothing. Nonetheless, it seems entirely possible based on the present data. Remember above all to not  take the figures the mainstream media throw at you at face value; there are lies, damned lies and statistics.

‘INCINERATORS HAVE BEEN WORKING AROUND THE CLOCK’: WUHAN RESIDENTS SAY OFFICIAL CORONAVIRUS DEATH TOLL FAKE

‘Incinerators Have Been Working Around the Clock’: Wuhan Residents Say Official Coronavirus Death Toll Fake

Communist Party reportedly paying off bereaved families to keep silent about true death count

By Jamie White – March 30, 2020

Residents in Wuhan, China are reportedly skeptical of the Chinese Communist Party’s official coronavirus death count of 2,500 in the city, with most believing the actual number is over 40,000.

“It can’t be right…because the incinerators have been working round the clock, so how can so few people have died?” a Wuhan resident surnamed Zhang told Radio Free Asia on Friday.

“They started distributing ashes and starting interment ceremonies on Monday,” he said.

Over the last week, seven funeral homes in Wuhan have been distributing cremated remains of 500 people every day, according to a source close to the provincial civil affairs bureau.

“Every funeral home reports data on cremations directly to the authorities twice daily,” the source said. “This means that each funeral home only knows how many cremations it has conducted, but not the situation at the other funeral homes.”

In the fourth quarter of 2019 alone, Wuhan saw 56,007 cremations, according to data released by the Wuhan civil affairs agency.

Additionally, photos out of Wuhan show pallets of urns delivered in trucks, with one mortuary receiving over 5,000 urns in a two-day period.

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“Maybe the authorities are gradually releasing the real figures, intentionally or unintentionally, so that people will gradually come to accept the reality,” a Wuhan resident named Mao told RFA.

The Communist Party is reportedly paying families 3,000 yuan for “funeral allowances” in exchange for their silence.

“There have been a lot of funerals in the past few days, and the authorities are handing out 3,000 yuan in hush money to families who get their loved ones’ remains laid to rest ahead of Qing Ming,” Wuhan resident Chen Yaohui said, referring to the traditional grave tending festival on April 5.

“During the epidemic, they transferred cremation workers from around China to Wuhan keep cremate bodies around the clock,” he added.

China claimed Sunday that Wuhan had only 1 new case of coronavirus in the last 10 days.

Since the coronavirus outbreak went global earlier this year, China launched a massive propaganda campaign to deflect blamemitigate the fallout of its global reputation, and hide the true scale of the coronavirus devastation it unleashed.

‘Incinerators Have Been Working Around the Clock’: Wuhan Residents Say Official Coronavirus Death Toll Fake

Nurses Die, Doctors Fall Sick and Panic Rises on Virus Front Lines

See the source image

3/30/2020

A supervisor urged surgeons at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in Manhattan to volunteer for the front lines because half the intensive-care staff had already been sickened by coronavirus.

“ICU is EXPLODING,” she wrote in an email.

A doctor at Weill Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan described the unnerving experience of walking daily past an intubated, critically ill colleague in her 30s, wondering who would be next.

Another doctor at a major New York City hospital described it as “a petri dish,” where more than 200 workers had fallen sick.

Two nurses in city hospitals have died.

The coronavirus pandemic, which has infected more than 30,000 people in New York City, is beginning to take a toll on those who are most needed to combat it: the doctors, nurses and other workers at hospitals and clinics. In emergency rooms and intensive care units, typically dispassionate medical professionals are feeling panicked as increasing numbers of colleagues get sick.

“I feel like we’re all just being sent to slaughter,” said Thomas Riley, a nurse a Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, who has contracted the virus, along with his husband.

Medical workers are still showing up day after day to face overflowing emergency rooms, earning them praise as heroes. Thousands of volunteers have signed up to join their colleagues.

But doctors and nurses said they can look overseas for a dark glimpse of the risk they are facing, especially when protective gear has been in short supply.

In China, more than 3,000 doctors were infected, nearly half of them in Wuhan, where the pandemic began, according to Chinese government statistics. Li Wenliang, the Chinese doctor who first tried to raise the alarm about Covid-19, eventually died of it.

In Italy, the number of infected heath care workers is now twice the Chinese total, and the National Federation of Orders of Surgeons and Dentists has compiled a list of 50 who have died. Nearly 14 percent of Spain’s confirmed coronavirus cases are medical professionals.

New York City’s health care system is sprawling and disjointed, making precise infection rates among medical workers difficult to calculate. A spokesman for the Health and Hospitals Corporation, which runs New York City’s public hospitals, said the agency would not share data about sick medical workers “at this time.”

William P. Jaquis, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians, said the situation across the country was too fluid to begin tracking such data, but he said he expected the danger to intensify.

“Doctors are getting sick everywhere,” he said.

Last week, two nurses in New York, including Kious Kelly, a 48-year-old assistant nurse manager at Mount Sinai West, died from the disease; they are believed to be the first known victims among the city’s medical workers. Health care workers across the city said they feared many more would follow.

Mr. Riley, the nurse at Jacobi, said when he looked at the emergency room recently, he realized he and his colleagues would never avoid being infected. Patients struggling to breathe with lungs that sounded like sandpaper had crowded the hospital. Masks and protective gowns were in short supply.

“I’m swimming in this,” he said he thought. “I’m pretty sure I’m getting this.”

His symptoms began with a cough, then a fever, then nausea and diarrhea. Days later, his husband became ill. Mr. Riley said both he and his husband appear to be getting better, but are still experiencing symptoms.

Like generals steadying their troops before battle, hospital supervisors in New York have had to rally, cajole and sometimes threaten workers.

“Our health care systems are at war with a pandemic virus,” Craig R. Smith, the surgeon-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, wrote in an email to staff on March 16, the day after New York City shut down its school system to contain the virus. “You are expected to keep fighting with whatever weapons you’re capable of working.”

“Sick is relative,” he wrote, adding that workers would not even be tested for the virus unless they were “unequivocally exposed and symptomatic to the point of needing admission to the hospital.”

“That means you come to work,” he wrote. “Period.”

Arriving to work each day, doctors and nurses are met with confusion and chaos.

At a branch of the Montefiore hospital system in the Bronx, nurses wear their winter coats in an unheated tent set up to triage patients with symptoms, while at Elmhurst Hospital Center in Queens, patients are sometimes dying before they can be moved into beds.

The inviolable rules that once gave a sense of rhythm and harmony to even the busiest emergency rooms have in some cases been cast aside. Few things have caused more anxiety than shifting protocols meant to preserve a dwindling supply of protective gear.

When the pandemic first hit New York, medical workers changed gowns and masks each time they visited an infected patient. Then, they were told to keep their protective gear on until the end of their shift. As supplies became even more scarce, one doctor working on an intensive care unit said he was asked to turn in his mask and face shield at the end of his shift to be sterilized for future use. Others are being told to store their masks in a paper bag between shifts.

“It puts us in danger, it puts our patients in danger. I can’t believe in the United States that’s what’s happening,” said Kelley Cabrera, an emergency room nurse at Jacobi Medical Center.

See the source image

An emergency room doctor at Long Island Jewish Medical Center put it more bluntly: “It’s literally, wash your hands a lot, cross your fingers, pray.”

Doctors and nurses fear they could be transmitting the virus to their patients, compounding the crisis by transforming hospitals into incubators for the virus. That has happened in Italy, in part because infected doctors struggle through their shifts, according to an article published by physicians at a hospital in Bergamo, a city in one of the hardest-hit regions.

Frontline hospital workers in New York are now required to take their temperature every 12 hours, though many doctors and nurses fear they could contract the disease and spread it to patients before they become symptomatic.

They also say it is a challenge to know when to come back to work after being sick. All medical workers who show symptoms, even if they are not tested, must quarantine for at least seven days and must be asymptomatic for three days before coming back to work.

But some employers have been more demanding than others, workers said.

Lillian Udell, a nurse at Lincoln Medical Center, another public hospital in the Bronx, said she was still weak and experiencing symptoms when she was pressured to return to work. She powered through a long shift that was so chaotic she could not remember how many patients she attended. By the time she returned home, the chills and the cough had returned.

“I knew it was still in me,” she said. “I knew I wasn’t myself.”

Christopher Miller, a spokesman for the Health and Hospitals Corporation, said the agency could not comment on Ms. Udell’s claim, but said its hospitals had “never asked health care workers who are sick and have symptoms of Covid-19 to continue to work or to come back to work.”

There is also the fear of bringing the disease home to spouses and children. Some medical workers said they were sleeping in different rooms from their partners and even wearing surgical masks at home. Others have chosen to isolate themselves from their families completely, sending spouses and children to live outside the city, or moving into hotels.

“I come home, I strip naked, put clothes in a bag and put them in the washer and take a shower,” one New York City doctor at a large public hospital said.

Because the pathogen has spread so widely, even medical workers not assigned directly to work with infected patients risk contracting the disease.

A gynecologist who works for the Mount Sinai hospital system said she had begun seeing women in labor who were positive for the coronavirus. Because she is not considered a front-line worker, she said, restrictions on protective gear are even more stringent than on Covid-19 units. She said she was not aware of any patients who had tested positive after contact with doctors or nurses, but felt it was only a matter of time.

“We’re definitely contaminating pregnant mothers that we’re assessing and possibly discharging home,” said the doctor, who spoke on condition on anonymity because her hospital had not authorized her to speak.

Mount Sinai said in a statement that it had faced equipment shortages like other hospitals, but added the issues had been solved in part by a large shipment of masks that arrived from China over the weekend. The hospital “moved mountains” to get the shipment, the statement said.

This week, the Health and Hospitals Corporation recommended transferring doctors and nurses at higher risk of infection — such as those who are older or with underlying medical conditions — from jobs interacting with patients to more administrative positions.

But Kimberly Marsh, a nurse at Westchester Medical Center outside New York City, said she has no intention of leaving the fight, even though she is a 53-year-old smoker with multiple sclerosis and on a medication that warns against getting near people with infections.

“It almost feels selfish,” she said, though she acknowledged that with two years before retirement she could not afford leave if she wanted to.

Even so, she said, the fear is palpable each time she steps into the emergency room. A nurse on her unit has already contracted the virus and one doctor is so scared he affixes an N95 mask to his face with tape at the beginning of each shift. Ms. Marsh said she sweats profusely in her protective gear because she is going through menopause and suffers from hot flashes.

“We all think we’re screwed,” she said. “I know without any doubt that I’m going to lose colleagues. There’s just no way around it.”

Somini Sengupta, Brian M. Rosenthal, Joseph Goldstein, Michael Rothfeld and Jason Horowitz contributed reporting.

Pandemic Historian: Coronavirus ‘a Disease of Globalization’

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 24: Doctors test hospital staff with flu-like symptoms for coronavirus (COVID-19) in set-up tents to triage possible COVID-19 patients outside before they enter the main Emergency department area at St. Barnabas hospital in the Bronx on March 24, 2020 in New York City. New York …

By John Binder

The Chinese coronavirus “is emphatically a disease of globalization,” a pandemic historian at Yale University says.

In an interview published in the Wall Street Journal, Yale University’s Frank Snowden — a historian who most recently in 2006 published a book about Italy’s eradication of malaria — details how the coronavirus pandemic is threatening the globalist worldview of free movement of people and free trade.

The interview finds the Journal‘s Jason Willick seemingly admits the coronavirus is tainting globalism and pushing Americans and the peoples of Europe toward nationhood:

Yet while the [bubonic] plague saw power move up from villages and city-states to national capitals, the coronavirus is encouraging a devolution of authority from supranational units to the nation-state.  This is most obvious in the European Union, where member states are setting their own responses. Open borders within the EU have been closed, and some countries have restricted export of medical supplies. The virus has heightened tensions between the U.S. and China, as Beijing tries to protect its image and Americans worry about access to medical supply chains. [Emphasis added]

Snowden told the Journal the coronavirus is a direct result of the globalization of the American economy after nearly four decades of free trade policy initiatives:

The coronavirus is threatening “the economic and political sinews of globalization, and causing them to unravel to a certain degree,” Mr. Snowden says. He notes that “coronavirus is emphatically a disease of globalization.” The virus is striking hardest in cities that are “densely populated and linked by rapid air travel, by movements of tourists, of refugees, all kinds of business people, all kinds of interlocking networks.” [Emphasis added]

Globalization, Snowden notes, has driven the coronavirus to majorly impact the wealthiest of Americans.

“Respiratory viruses, Mr. Snowden says, tend to be socially indiscriminate in whom they infect. Yet because of its origins in the vectors of globalization, the coronavirus appears to have affected the elite in a high-profile way,” the Journal piece states. “From Tom Hanks to Boris Johnson, people who travel frequently or are in touch with travelers have been among the first to get infected.”

The infection of thousands of the nation’s rich and upper-middle-class has driven class warfare in regions like the Hamptons in New York where some of the wealthiest, most liberal celebrities own property.

A report by Maureen Callahan for the New York Post chronicles how the working class staff of the Hamptons’ elite are turning on them as those infected disregard rules and Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines:

“There’s not a vegetable to be found in this town right now,” says one resident of Springs, a working-class pocket of East Hampton. “It’s these elitist people who think they don’t have to follow the rules.” [Emphasis added]

It’s not just the drastic food shortage out here. Every aspect of life, most crucially medical care, is under strain from the sudden influx of rich Manhattanites panic-fleeing … — and in some cases, knowingly bringing coronavirus. [Emphasis added]

“We’re at the end of Long Island, the tip, and waves of people are bringing this s–t,” says lifelong Montauker James Katsipis. “We should blow up the bridges. Don’t let them in.” [Emphasis added]

While globalization has delivered soaring profits for corporate executives, working- and middle-class American communities have been left behind to grapple with fewer jobs, less industry, stagnant wages, and increase competition in the labor market due to decades-long mass legal immigration.

Since 2001, free trade with China has cost millions of Americans their jobs. For example, the Economic Policy Institute has found that from 2001 to 2015, about 3.4 million U.S. jobs were lost due to the nation’s trade deficit with China.

Of the 3.4 million U.S. jobs lost in that time period, about 2.6 million were lost in the manufacturing industry, making up about three-fourths of the loss of jobs from the U.S.-Chinese trade deficit.

In Late February, Nancy Pelosi Encouraged Large Groups to Congregate in Chinatown

Yet blamed Trump’s early “denial” for spread of coronavirus.

By Paul Joseph Watson -30 March, 2020

A video clip from late February shows Nancy Pelosi encouraging large groups of people to congregate in San Francisco’s Chinatown before she would later go on to blame President Trump’s early “denial” for the spread of coronavirus.

The footage, which was taken on February 24th, is introduced by a reporter noting how Pelosi wanted residents to understand how it’s “perfectly safe to be here” in Chinatown.

“We do want to say to people, come to Chinatown, here we are…come join us,” said Pelosi.

The reporter then explains how the stunt was a response to San Francisco’s Chinatown experiencing a drop in business since the outbreak of coronavirus in Wuhan, China.

San Francisco has since recorded 340 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 5 people have died.

The video is particularly eye opening since yesterday on CNN, Pelosi blamed President Trump’s “denial at the beginning” for the spread of coronavirus throughout the United States.

The video underscores how many officials flouted the very social distancing measures they now amplify because at the time stopping bigotry towards Chinese people was seen as being of greater importance than preventing the spread of coronavirus.

As we previously highlighted, health officials in New York gave identical advice, urging residents to gather in crowds to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year.

“Today our city is celebrating the #LunarNewYear parade in Chinatown, a beautiful cultural tradition with a rich history in our city,” wrote New York City Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot. “I want to remind everyone to enjoy the parade and not change any plans due to misinformation spreading about #coronavirus.”

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Her message was echoed by Mark D. Levine, Chair of New York City Council health committee, who lauded how “huge crowds gathering in NYC’s Chinatown” was a “powerful show of defiance of #coronavirus scare,” tweeting four images of large groups of people gathered to celebrate the occasion.

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Mayor Bill de Blasio also urged New Yorkers to “get out on the town despite coronavirus” and visit the cinema as late as March 2nd.

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As we highlight in the video below, back in February, leftist officials in Italy were also urging citizens to go outside and hug Chinese people in order to fight racism.

Michigan ER Nurse: ‘It’s Going to Be Just like Italy’

In this photograph taken from behind a window, doctors work on Covid-19 patients in the intensive care unit of San Matteo Hospital, in Pavia, northern Italy, Thursday, March 26, 2020. The San Matteo hospital is where Patient 1, a 38-year-old Unilever worker named Mattia, was kept since he tested positive …

By Hannah Bleau – 27 Mar 2020

A Michigan emergency room nurse on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic issued a dire warning and chilling update on the reality of the virus and the strain it is having on hospitals, begging people to stay home and warning that “it’s getting to the point now that it’s going to be just like Italy.”

Mary MacDonald, who works for the Ascension Health System, posted a viral update on Instagram this week, detailing her experience after working at the Southfield location to assist with an influx of patients.

“I’ll have to admit, in being totally transparent, if you had asked me ten-plus days ago if I thought this was going to get as bad as it was, I would have told you no,” she said in the video:

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“I mean, you heard the rumors. You saw the trends. But until you see if first hand, you just have no idea what it’s like — what’s it’s going to be like. And it’s truly frightening,” she continued, explaining that they are now seeing double — even triple — the number of patients coming in, many of whom are not getting tested.

Coming into the hospital, she said, does not serve to benefit a person unless he or she is experiencing “respiratory distress,” and even then, the hospitals are quickly running low on vital supplies to treat those patients — from ventilators to Tylenol.

“It’s getting to the point now that it’s going to be just like Italy. We intubated, from 10:00 p.m. last night to this morning, we intubated two of my patients within a half hour. And upwards of ten patients were put on ventilators. My patient took the last ventilator available in the hospital,” she said, further detailing the chilling new reality.

“Resources are very slim. We have no medications to keep these patients even ventilated, let alone ventilators,” she said. “Medications like fentanyl or propofol that would keep a patient sedated while they’re intubated we’re out of. … We’re out of Tylenol.”

“And that’s not even going back to the fact that we don’t have any ventilators to put these patients on, so we’re going to start making life or death decisions in regards to people’s care,” she said.

“So you’re going to come in and you’re going to get tagged whether you deem necessary to even get intubated, or are you being sent home to die,” she added:

Normally, if a patient was to pass away, it would be because we tried everything that we could, we did everything that we could, we had all the resources and all the people that we needed to help save this patient’s life, and it was just their time. And now, we aren’t giving the patient the time to choose whether it’s their time or not. We’re choosing for them.

“I never wanted to go into a career where I wasn’t able to save everyone,” the nurse said.

“This is truly scary, and nobody is taking it seriously,” she continued, noting the pictures on social media of spring breakers partying on beaches and others not practicing proper social distancing.

Hospitals are also running out of gloves, and medical professionals are forced to reuse masks “because we are completely out of resources,” MacDonald continued.

“There are no masks. There are no gowns. They’re running low on gloves because everyone has panicked and stockpiled this so that medical staff doesn’t have it,” she said, showing the camera the brown paper bag she uses to transport her mask to and from work.

“We cannot stay safe, and we cannot care for all of these people that are coming in because no one is taking this seriously. And I am being super transparent. I was one of those people that wasn’t taking it seriously,” she said.

“But I’m here to tell you that you need to. We are literally making life and death decisions for people,” MacDonald added, begging people to heed her advice and stay home.

“Stay home with your loved ones. Don’t go out. Don’t go to the grocery store. Don’t go through the drive-thrus. Don’t do anything that could put you at risk to have to see me at the end of the tunnel,” she said. “I’m telling you it’s not worth it. And I don’t know what I can do to save people anymore, and that is something I’ve never wanted to say in my entire career.”

Her warning comes as Michigan emerges as one of the United States’ latest coronavirus hotspots, with nearly 3,000 confirmed cases and 60 related deaths, including a Detroit mother of four.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) has issued stringent stay-at-home orders, which prohibit “all public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring among persons outside a single household.”

 

Leaked Draft Letter Reveals Michigan Hospital’s Policy to Ration Ventilators for Coronavirus Patients

People are tested for coronavirus at the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS) center in Dearborn, Michigan on March 26, 2020. - The US was quickly becoming a new epicenter of the global coronavirus pandemic Thursday as new infections soared and unemployment claims skyrocketed to a historic …

By Rebecca Mansour – 27 Mar 2020

A draft letter by one of southeast Michigan’s major hospital systems was leaked online Thursday revealing the hospital’s policy to prioritize care for “patients who have the best chance of getting better” in the event of a shortage due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The letter was drafted by officials at the Henry Ford Health System and is addressed to “our patients, families and community.” It outlines the criteria for which patients will be eligible for care if the hospital reaches capacity and is forced to ration limited resources. “Patients who have the best chance of getting better are our first priority. Patients will be evaluated for the best plan of care and dying patients will be provided comfort care.”

The letter explains the policy in the event of a shortage of ICU beds and ventilators: “If you (or a family member) becomes ill and your medical doctor believes that you need extra care in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) or Mechanical Ventilation (breathing machine) you will be assessed for eligibility based only on your specific condition.”

Some of the conditions that may make a person ineligible are listed as “severe heart, lung, kidney or liver failure; Terminal cancers; Severe trauma or burns.”

A statement issued Thursday night by Dr. Adnan Munkarah, executive vice president and chief clinical officer of Henry Ford Health System, confirmed the authenticity of the draft letter, but stressed that it reflects a “worst case scenario.”

“With a pandemic of this nature, health systems must be prepared for a worst case scenario,” Munkarah said. “Gathering the collective wisdom from across our industry, we carefully crafted our policy to provide critical guidance to healthcare workers for making difficult patient care decisions during an unprecedented emergency.”

He added, “These guidelines are deeply patient focused, intended to be honoring to patients and families. We shared our policy with our colleagues across Michigan to help others develop similar, compassionate approaches. It is our hope we never have to apply them and we will always do everything we can to care for our patients, utilizing every resource we have to make that happen.”

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The draft letter was leaked online Thursday when Nicholas Bagley, a University of Michigan law professor, tweeted out an image of the letter on what appeared to be official hospital letterhead.

The full contents of the letter was printed by the Detroit Free Press (emphasis in original):

To our patients, families and community:

Please know that we care deeply about you and your family’s health and are doing our best to protect and serve you and our community. We currently have a public health emergency that is making our supply of some medical resources hard to find. Because of shortages, we will need to be careful with resources. Patients who have the best chance of getting better are our first priority. Patients will be evaluated for the best plan of care and dying patients will be provided comfort care.

What this means for you and your family:

1. Alert staff during triage of any current medical conditions or if you have a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR)/Do Not Attempt Resuscitation (DNAR) or other important medical information.

2. If you (or a family member) becomes ill and your medical doctor believes that you need extra care in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) or Mechanical Ventilation (breathing machine) you will be assessed for eligibility based only on your specific condition.

3. Some patients will be extremely sick and very unlikely to survive their illness even with critical treatment. Treating these patients would take away resources for patients who might survive.

4. Patients who are not eligible for ICU or ventilator care will receive treatment for pain control and comfort measures. Some conditions that are likely to may [sic] make you not eligible include:

  • severe heart, lung, kidney or liver failure
  • Terminal cancers
  • Severe trauma or burns

5. Patients who have ventilator or ICU care withdrawn will receive pain control and comfort measures.

6. Patients who are treated with a ventilator or ICU care may have these treatments stopped if they do not improve over time. If they do not improve this means that the patient has a poor chance of surviving the illness — even if the care was continued. This decision will be based on medical condition and likelihood of getting better. It will not be based on other reasons such as race, gender, health insurance status, ability to pay for care, sexual orientation, employment status or immigration status. All patients are evaluated for survival using the same measures.

7. If the treatment team has determined that you or your family members does not meet criteria to receive critical care or that ICU treatments will be stopped, talk to your doctor. Your doctor can ask for a review by a team of medical experts (a Clinical Review Committee evaluation.)

Michigan has become an emerging hot spot for the coronavirus pandemic in the United States. The state’s top health official, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, said hospitals in southeast Michigan are “at or near capacity.”

The Henry Ford Health System is one of the major hospital providers in the Metro Detroit area, along with the William Beaumont Health System. Both providers have said they were caring for more than 1,000 COVID-19 patients at their 13 hospitals. Due to the sudden surge, operating rooms were being converted into intensive care units, and clinics had been turned into rooms for patients needing other medical care.

On Wednesday, Beaumont Health said its hospitals were swamped with 650 patients who had tested positive for the COVID-19 virus and more than 200 with tests pending. It said it would transfer more people to its hospital in Wayne County and get help from other health care providers.

“The number of patients coming to our emergency rooms continues to grow rapidly,” Beaumont CEO John Fox said.

Fox told the Detroit Free Press on Wednesday that the pandemic is proving to be healthcare providers’ “worst nightmare,” noting that Beaumont is admitting 100 new coronavirus patients per day, at that time.

“What we all need to remember is that we got our first patient two weeks ago. So this is coming on hard and fast. This is definitely a biological tsunami,” he said.

“In my lifetime, we’ve never had a pandemic like this,” Fox said.

“Across our system, we are facing limitations and nearing capacity with our staffing, personal protective equipment, and mechanical ventilators,” said Beaumont’s chief operating officer Carolyn Wilson.

“The numbers are changing and increasing even in two-hour intervals,” said Bob Riney, the chief operating officer at Henry Ford, whose flagship hospital is in the city of Detroit.

Dr. Betty Chu, the chief clinical officer and chief quality officer at Henry Ford, predicted an “upcoming surge.” Chu noted that the hospital was already reallocating resources because the Henry Ford hospitals in West Bloomfield and Detroit have reached capacity due to COVID-19 patients.

“Today our capacity is quite full at those two hospitals — West Bloomfield and Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit,” Chu said Wednesday. “We fortunately have the luxury right now of having additional capacity at some of our other campuses.”

On Wednesday, Mary Macdonald, an Oakland County ER nurse, posted a viral video on Instagram detailing the harrowing conditions at southeast Michigan hospitals where medical staff are combating shortages of essential supplies and equipment to care for this surge of coronavirus patients.

“It’s getting to the point now that it’s going to be just like Italy,” Macdonald said. “From 10:00 PM last night to this morning, we intubated two of my patients within a half-hour. And upwards of 10 patients were put on ventilators. My patient took the last ventilator available in the hospital,” she said.

“Normally, if a patient was to pass away, it would be because we tried everything that we could, we did everything that we could, we had all the resources and all the people that we needed to help save this patient’s life, and it was just their time. And now we aren’t giving the patient the time to choose whether it’s their time or not. We’re choosing for them,” she said.

Macdonald also noted that the hospital is short of even basic supplies.

“Resources are very slim. We have no medications to keep these patients even ventilated, let alone ventilators,” she said, adding that they are out of medications like propofol to keep people sedated when they are intubated. She said they are even running out of Tylenol.

“There are no masks. There are no gowns. They’re running low on gloves because everyone has panicked and stockpiled this, so that medical staff doesn’t have it,” she said and then showed the disposable N95 mask she was required to stow in a brown paper bag after every workday to be reused for the rest of the year.

Macdonald urged her fellow Michiganders to take the social distancing instructions seriously in order to protect themselves and their neighbors from spreading the virus, otherwise the overwhelmed hospital system won’t be able to care for all the sick.

“We don’t have any ventilators to put these patients on,” Macdonald stressed. “So, we’re going to start making life or death decisions in regards to people’s care. So you’re going to come in and you’re going to get tagged whether you [are] deem[ed] necessary to even get intubated or are you being sent home to die. This is truly scary, and nobody is taking it seriously.”

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Khaldun, the chief medical office for Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services, said the state is “probably a few weeks out” from hitting a peak in coronavirus cases. Michigan reported nearly 2,900 cases by Thursday and 60 deaths, both an increase of Wednesday’s statewide numbers.

Wayne County, home to Detroit, accounted for nearly half of the cases. Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, called Wayne a “hot spot” nationally and said she was concerned the county was “having a more rapid increase.”

Southeast Michigan, like New York City, is a hub for international travel. As the capital of the world’s auto industry, Metro Detroit has daily direct flights to and from major cities in Europe and Asia.

Although the virus is hitting the entire metro area hard, the city of Detroit is uniquely vulnerable to the pandemic. Despite its dramatic economic rebound in recent years after its municipal bankruptcy in 2013, the city is still one of the poorest in the nation, with a poverty rate three times higher than the national average, and the city’s population suffers in greater numbers from underlining conditions like diabetes and heart disease.

“Part of what we’re seeing in Detroit is that there’s such a high number of individuals who have those underlying conditions, who have diabetes and the heart disease, who may have obesity,” Khaldun explained.

On Tuesday, Marlowe Stoudamire, 43, one of the young entrepreneurs involved in rebuilding the city, died from complications from COVID-19. According to health officials at Henry Ford Health System, Stoudamire had “no known underlying health conditions or recent travel.”

The city of Detroit’s police force has also been hit especially hard by the coronavirus pandemic, as 331 Detroit officers and 70 civilian police employees have been quarantined since the outbreak, and two members of the force have died this week due to COVID-19.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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