- - Wednesday, April 29, 2020

It is finally official. For anyone who is still believing that the political masters of the universe know everything and could be completely trusted, I have news for you: They’re getting a lot wrong.

All of us, including politicians and the medical establishment, have been behind the coronavirus eight-ball because of the nefarious actions and coverup by China. Now, the decision to go into a complete lockdown is proving to have been injurious to the very institution that it was supposed to save: The hospital and medical infrastructure.

Courtesy of a Twitter thread by Fox News’ Brit Hume, the extent of the damage to hospitals done because of a lack of patients and procedures is stunning. In response to a Fox News headline that the Mayo Clinic is poised to furlough or reduce the pay of 30,000 employees, Mr. Hume tweeted, “This is a consequence of measures undertaken to protect the health care system from being overwhelmed. Good Lord.”

Fox reported, “Mayo Clinic is furloughing or reducing the hours of almost half its workforce as the nonprofit medical center tries to stop the financial bleeding from the coronavirus pandemic. ‘Approximately 30,000 staff from across all Mayo locations will receive reduced hours or some type of furlough, though the duration will vary depending on the work unit,’ according to a statement on Wednesday from spokeswoman Ginger Plumbo, as reported by Post Bulletin. Mayo Clinic will continue to pay for the health care benefits for all of its employees while they are off work, since these are furloughs and not layoffs.”

This development is nationwide, impacting multiple other health care systems and hospitals.



The Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare system has announced, “Methodist, like other health care systems in the Mid-South and around the country, has seen a significant decline in revenues as a result of a more than 40 percent decline in patient volumes related to the closure of nonessential services and the mandated cancellation of non-emergency procedures to prepare for COVID patients.” They will be cutting executive pay and furloughing employees.

The Phoenix Business Journal headline said, “Arizona health systems succumb to Covid-19 with layoffs, pay cuts, furloughs.”

The San Francisco Chronicle has an almost identical headline, “Stanford hospital system to cut pay 20%, furlough workers during coronavirus pandemic.”

These are just a few examples of this troubling turn of events nationwide. Let’s remember why we began the social distancing and the eventual stay-at-home orders. It was to “flatten the curve,” which was directly related to making sure that the health care system was not overburdened by an influx of patients. We have accomplished that due to the heroics of our medical frontline heroes as well as Americans faithfully following the White House guidelines in an effort to keep themselves, and their neighbors, safe.

Now, as we begin to make an effort to emerge from this unnatural state, Dr. Scott Atlas at the New York Post explains the deleterious effect on individual Americans and the health care system itself in an opinion piece titled, “Science says: It’s time to start easing the lockdowns.”

“When states and hospitals abruptly stopped ‘nonessential’ procedures and surgery, that didn’t mean unimportant care. Treatments for the most serious illnesses, including emergency care, were missed. Some estimate about half of cancer patients deferred chemotherapy. Approximately 80 percent of brain surgery cases were skipped. Perhaps half or more of acute stroke and heart-attack patients missed their only chances for early treatment, some dying and many now facing permanent disability. Transplants from living donors are down 85 percent from the same period last year,” he wrote.

“And that doesn’t include the skipped cancer screenings, avoided childhood vaccinations, missed biopsies of now-undiscovered cancers numbering thousands per week — and countless other serious disorders left undiagnosed,” Dr. Atlas noted.

At the beginning of this debacle it was impossible to know what the end result would be. What we do know right now, is that the mortality rate is much lower than the models told us; that the United States is not northern Italy; that we were saved in part because we were not burdened by a bloated, incompetent socialized health care scheme; and that America’s frontline health care workers and their heroism have now been made more public than ever.

The success we have had is despite a bloated federal government and due to what is now dubbed in Washington as “Trump time,” reflecting the new ability to get things done quickly. The influence of the president in slashing away regulations and demanding results has made the difference in everything from testing, to the production of ventilators, to the distribution of personal protective equipment, to say nothing of the lives saved because of his quick action at the start in banning flights from China.

It is also more obvious than ever that we will need a Sept. 11th-type commission composed of people other than politicians to assess what went wrong and what went right. As citizens, we have also learned that even politicians and medical experts are only human and will sometimes get things wrong. It reminds us why the Founders made us the sovereign with the duty of overseeing those who would dare to think they know better than us.

• Tammy Bruce, president of Independent Women’s Voice, author and Fox News contributor, is a radio talk-show host.

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