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.”

The EU is getting desperate and urges all countries to sign dangerous UN Migration Pact

By Emma R.

EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos urges all countries to sign the UN Migration Pact. As the agreement is “important” to the world.

On 10-11 December, the world’s countries are expected to sign the UN’s highly criticised Global Migration Agreement.

But several countries have already pulled out. In the EU there are at least six countries that will not sign. Among other things, they claim that the pact will promote even more immigration and pose a national security risk.

This weekend, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that the governments signing the pact present a “serious risk” to their citizens.

Avramopoulos does not understand the criticism, he tells German Die Welt.

And he therefore wants the countries to take the next few days to reflect and then choose to join the Globalist migration pact.

Those who reject the migration pact have not studied it enough, he argues and says that the agreement, on the contrary, is good for the world because, according to him, it will lead to “orderly” immigration across the world and stop human trafficking.

Like other proponents, he points out that the agreement is not binding. According to the Migration Commissioner, it is also a betrayal to Africa not to join the Pact.

Spain: Pakistani migrant punches female doctor as being treated by her is ‘against his religion’

By Ben Perchiron

A doctor from Linares (Jaén) has received a brutal punch from a young illegal Pakistani because he resisted being treated by a woman. According to what he said on Wednesday before the judge, the reason is because “his religion forbids him.”

According to Carlos Garrido, the victim’s lawyer, the events occurred at two o’ clock in the morning of Monday at the Virgen de Linarejos health center.

The assailant was in the waiting room waiting to be seen when suddenly, “he threw himself to the ground and started screaming”.

Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 3.36.06 PM

A watchman witnessed the scene and helped him up and seated him in a chair. “Nobody understood what was happening to him, the young man indicated that he could communicate in Arabic or Italian,” adds the lawyer.

It was at that moment that the attacker hit a female doctor in the face with a punch that caused her to fall backwards to the ground. Several of the doctor’s colleagues then immobilized the Pakistani man, so as to avoid further violence.

The National Police immediately detained the aggressor. On his appearance before the Court this Wednesday, the defendant has acknowledged the facts, but added that “he does not remember anything”. In relation to the cause that pushed him to hit the victim, he added that “my religion does not allow women to invade my space.”

The victim is currently on leave due not only to her physical injuries, but also the psychological consequences that persist after this type of attack.

The defendant was in Spain illegally and had come from Italy. The coroner does not rule out that he was under the influence of a drug.

The Prosecutor’s Office is asking for five months in prison, a restraining order and compensation of some 600 euros.

The attacker walked free without charges and the police have opened a file to him as well as removed his passport for security reasons.

Vox, a right wing Political Party that is rising in popularity in Spain, has demanded the illegal immigrant be deported.

Vox has also demanded, during its campaign for local elections in Andalucia, that the nationality of every person guilty of sexual abuse or rape be published, as the Socialist Party currently in charge of the province has a policy to hide that information, for obvious reasons.

THE FIRST VIDEOS OF THE ALASKAN EARTHQUAKE ARE HORRIFYING

Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 3.20.13 PM

By Benny Johnson

Alaska has been hit by a massive earthquake that has destroyed property and badly damaged roads and infrastructure.

An earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale struck the city of Anchorage, Alaska early Friday morning, killing power, shaking buildings and putting many lives in danger. Multiple hospitals and schools were evacuated as the earthquake shook the ground. (RELATED: Magnitude 7 Earthquake Shakes Indonesian Island, At Least 91 Dead)

The epicenter of the earthquake was just north of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, according to the Alaska Earthquake Center.

Some of the videos and images of the earthquake coming out of Alaska are stunning and horrifying.

Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 3.23.56 PM

Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 3.25.05 PM

Because of the earthquake’s intensity, there is also a tsunami warning in effect for Southcentral Alaska’s shore areas. Several severe aftershocks also hit the area.

Russian Collusion: In June 2010 Bill Clinton Paid $500,000 by Russian Regime – In July 2010 Ten Russian Agents Were Released by Obama Without Charges

By Jim Hoft

Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 11.41.31 AM

The fake news mainstream media wants you to believe the Trump family was colluding with Russia because they discussed building a Trump Tower in Moscow before the 2016 election.  The project was dropped and NEVER HAPPENED.

This same media ignores obvious criminal actions by the Obama-Clinton Democrats.

In June 2010 Bill Clinton Met with Russia leader Vladimir Putin – In July 2010 Ten Russian Agents Were Released by Obama Without Charges and Given Back to Russia.  Putin Praised the Russian Spies as Heroes.

It has been widely reported that Bill Clinton flew to Russia in 2010 and was paid $500,000 for giving one single speech.  It is also well know that during his trip to Russia, the former President petitioned the State Department to allow him to meet with a key member of the Russia state owned uranium company Rosatom.

As he prepared to collect a $500,000 payday in Moscow in 2010, Bill Clinton sought clearance from the State Department to meet with a key board director of the Russian nuclear energy firm Rosatom — which at the time needed the Obama administration’s approval for a controversial uranium deal, government records show.

Arkady Dvorkovich, a top aide to then-Russian President Dmitri Medvedev and one of the highest-ranking government officials to serve on Rosatom’s board of supervisors, was listed on a May 14, 2010, email as one of 15 Russians the former president wanted to meet during a late June 2010 trip, the documents show.

The Hill continued in noting that:

Bill Clinton instead got together with Vladimir Putin at the Russian leader’s private homestead.

A short time later the Obama’s Administration approved the sale of 20 percent of US uranium to Russia.  The Clinton foundation walked away with millions and the US lost one-fifth of its uranium to rival Russia. 

We also now know that the FBI uncovered Russian bribery of the Clintons in 2009 and the Department of Justice and the FBI sat on this for four more years.  Worse yet, from a recent report we discovered the investigation was supervised by then-U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein, who is now President Trump’s Deputy Attorney General, and then-Assistant FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who is now the deputy FBI director under Trump.

Mueller is now heading a corrupt investigation into Trump on Russia collusion after being appointed by Rosenstein.  This madness was orchestrated under Attorney General Jeff Sessions who recused himself from Russia related investigations.  Many people are calling for Mueller to step down.

What has not been widely reported is that at the time of the Uranium One deal the US government released 10 Russian agents arrested for espionage.  A short time after the former President met with Putin in Russia, these agents were given back to Russia and given a heroes welcome by Putin and not even charged with espionage. 

The New York Times reported in a separate piece in October 2010 that –

Russian sleeper agents, arrested in the United States this summer and deported to Russia as part of a prisoner exchange, received top government honors from President Dmitri A. Medvedev on Monday.

“Intelligence agents who worked in the United States and returned to Russia in July” were among staff members from Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service to receive awards at a Kremlin ceremony, Natalya Timakova, the president’s spokeswoman, told Russian news media. She would not say which awards were given out or whether all 10 of those arrested this summer were among the recipients.

The agents, who were arrested in the suburbs of New York, Boston and Northern Virginia, have been widely lampooned in the West as bumbling caricatures of a bygone era. For over a decade they used false names, invisible ink and other vestiges of the cloak-and-dagger era to gain access to the type of information more easily downloaded from the Internet. In the end they were not even charged with espionage.

In Russia, however, they have been praised by Russia’s top leaders for their service to the motherland.

It now appears that these 10 agents were released as a result of the special meeting Clinton held with the Russians.  We really don’t know what led to their release but we do know that Putin treated these individuals like heroes.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑