You might not yet know someone who has gotten sick or died from COVID-19. But that is all about to change in the coming months. The deadly virus has infiltrated the United States because of the federal government’s slow response to the global pandemic. Because the federal government failed to stop the foreign virus from crossing the border, it is up to state officials like California’s Democratic Governor Gavin Newsome to act decisively to protect the lives of Americans before COVID-19 kills more baby boomers and elderly people.
While California and New York have been hit hard by COVID-19 – and the threat gets bigger every day – Washington remains a battle zone. As more cases of the virus are detected, Washington state officials have no choice but to decide who will get care at the fast-filling hospitals and which Americans will have to be turned away and left to die.
Because the American health care system is broken, hospitals will not be able to support all people who fall deathly sick from the coronavirus. That means that you might be left high and dry as you’re struggling to survive because the health care system has been weakened over the last few years.
Like toilet paper, ventilators are in short supply. Hospitals simply do not have enough of this essential equipment to keep the lives of people afloat as they battle the virus that is trying to kill them from the inside out. Baby boomers and elderly Americans remain at the highest risk of death.
State officials are drafting documents to help triage the mounting problem. Patients may be turned away based on age, health, and the likelihood that they’ll be able to survive the disease. That means that elderly Americans and baby boomers could be denied care because millennials and young children are more likely to survive the disease.
“If you are above a certain age and we have a shortage of ventilators, you don’t get one,” Cassie Sauer, CEO of the Washington State Hospital Association, said. “This has never happened in America at this level for this sustained time. … It is unprecedented, and it should not happen.”
Sauer said that if she had more hospital beds and equipment, the need to turn away sick baby boomers might not have to happen. However, the outlook is not good because the federal government continues to drag its feet as people die by the hundreds.
“We recognize based on current data that our local Covid-19 trajectory is likely to be similar to that of Northern Italy,” an email sent to surgeons at a hospital in the Seattle area read, The New York Times reported. “While our supplies may be sufficient today, we are practicing the responsible allocation of those resources that will be necessary to continue our care into the future we have yet to see.”
Sauer, the hospital CEO, said, “This is a shift to caring for the population, where you look at the whole population of people who need care and make a determination about who is most likely to survive, and you provide care to them.”
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