Over 600 doctors signed a letter to President Trump, saying that the health problems caused by the national shutdown are a “magnitude error” and a “mass casualty incident,” and asked that it end now.
The COVID-19 virus is a “novel” virus, which means it’s new. The authorities, including the CDC, have tried to conduct research on it, but their efforts tend to end up contradictory. On Wednesday, the CDC released a flip-flop from their original stance and said that the virus does NOT seem to spread from touching contaminated surfaces.
But the 600 doctors that signed the letter to the President have been on the front lines, and have een the problems being caused by the shutdown on top of the virus.
“We are alarmed at what appears to be the lack of consideration for the future health of our patients. The downstream health effects … are being massively under-estimated and under-reported. This is an order of magnitude error…
…The millions of casualties of a continued shutdown will be hiding in plain sight, but they will be called alcoholism, homelessness, suicide, heart attack, stroke, or kidney failure. In youths it will be called financial instability, unemployment, despair, drug addiction, unplanned pregnancies, poverty, and abuse.
Because the harm is diffuse, there are those who hold that it does not exist. We, the undersigned, know otherwise.”
One of the signatories, Dr. Jeff Barke is a man we have written about previously.
The 600+ doctors that signed it were concerned about those who put off surgeries or didn’t go to the doctor because of the virus. Doctor’s offices were locked, telehealth appointments were the only ones a person could get, and if you’ve noticed, if a doctor can’t examine you in person, not much is going to be diagnosed.
Then there’s the issue of financial burdens on some of the hospitals (USA Today). Up to 100 hospitals across the nation may close or lay off staff because the shutdown kept people from seeking their services when they were needed. That’s not counting the ones that were facing finacial peril prior to the pandemic.
Dr. Scott Barbour, an orthopedic surgeon in Atlanta, reflected the comments the other doctors made about how the medical system has been able to handle the coronavirus without being overwhelmed, but also noted that the reported mortality rates from the coronavirus might be off.
“The vast majority of the people that contract this disease are asymptomatic or so minimally symptomatic that they’re not even aware that they’re sick. And so the denominator in our calculation of mortality rate is far greater than we think,” he said. “The risk of dying from COVID is relatively small when we consider these facts.”
Gold, an emergency medicine specialist based in Los Angeles, led the letter on behalf of a new organization called A Doctor a Day.
A Doctor a Day has not yet formally launched but sent the letter, with hundreds of signatures from physicians nationwide, to the White House on Tuesday. Gold and the group’s co-founder, Barke, said they began the organization to advocate for patients against the government-imposed coronavirus shutdowns by elevating the voices of doctors who felt that the negative externalities of the shutdowns outweigh the potential downside of letting people resume their normal business.
So can the cure be worse than the cause? We’ve seen massive protests and defiance in the face of the shutdowns. Was the shutdown necessary in the first place? The jury’s still out on that factor. But it certainly got the leftists on a power trip that they seem to be refusing to stop.
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