Nurses cover their faces with masks to protect from the spread of the swine flu outside the Naypyitaw hospital, Tuesday, July 25, 2017, in Naypyitaw, Myanmar. Public health officials in Myanmar say that H1N1 flu, also known as swine flu, has killed three people out of 13 confirmed cases of the infection. (AP Photo/Aung Shine Oo)
On his Friday night show, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson read two letters he had received from nurses who work at New York City hospitals. New York State, as we know, has quickly become the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. with nearly half of the more than 100,000 confirmed cases in the country. (Please see Mike Ford’s nightly coronavirus statistics here.)
The first nurse is currently in isolation after being exposed to a COVID-positive patient 12 days ago. I would imagine that these nurses are exposed to COVID-positive patients every time they go to work. They both describe a lack of proper personal protective equipment (PPE). They wear a regular gown and a mask, which they must reuse multiple times.
The women worry about contracting the disease and then infecting their families. One very likely already has it. Below are several excerpts from their letters: (They wish to remain anonymous.)
Nurse 1: In my unit … we’re just wearing a regular gown, a face mask with … eyes and head exposed. We do the entire procedure face-to-face with the patient with just a regular mask and gown, even when they show signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
I’m on my eighth day of isolation, experiencing coughing with a runny nose, pounding headaches and diarrhea. I’ve tried to call the hotlines that they’re giving to the people of New York to get tested. They just turned me down since I’m not sick enough. It terrifies me that I haven’t been tested because I’m turning 51 soon and suffer from asthma, diabetes and hypertension.
What scares me the most is what will happen to my son [with] a lifelong condition.
Nurse 2: There’s about triple the usual influx of patients being wheeled into the E.R.. Many of the patients are sent home without being tested because they do not meet all the criteria. There’s always a lingering fear that someone we sent home might actually be sick.
There’s a lot of pressure because we nurses have a responsibility to all patients. At the same time, we fear getting sick and getting our families sick. It’s a very tense environment right now.
In the past week, we’ve had a patient come in for non-COVID-related procedures. After the procedure, the patient told us they were exposed prior to coming in and sure enough, they tested positive. Things like this make all of us suspicious, on edge all the time.
The Task Force has been working hard on solving these serious problems. The U.S. simply didn’t have enough tests and that, according to The Washington Post’s Mark Thiesen and The Dispatch’s Alec Stapp, cost us six crucial weeks early on. Contrary to the well-worn Democratic talking point, this was not President Trump’s fault. Both Thiesen and Stapp (and others) blame “the incompetence of the Food and Drug Administration, which refused to allow private and academic advanced labs to develop coronavirus tests. Only in March were FDA restrictions lifted and outside labs given the green light to begin testing.”
On Friday night, the Associated Press reported that the FDA has cleared a new rapid test from Abbott Laboratories which provides a positive result within five minutes and a negative result within thirteen minutes.
Trump’s efforts to involve the private sector in producing the essential supplies in the quantities required has allowed the U.S. to significantly increase our daily testing capacity.
The AP report says that, in the past week, two other rapid tests have been cleared by regulators.
Another critical issue, the shortage of personal protective equipment is also being addressed by tapping the private sector. For example, GM will be producing ventilators, Mike Lindell, the owner of MyPillow.com, announced he will be making masks and if they can roll back regulations, distillers will provide us with hand sanitizer.
The Army Corps of Engineers is working to convert existing sites into hospitals to accommodate the rapidly growing number of patients who require medical attention.
The military has dispatched hospital ships to NYC and LA, and sent mobile hospitals to cities on both coasts,
Some physicians have recommended that those on the frontlines of this battle, the health care providers, ought to be taking hydroxychloroquine for prophylaxis. According to the CDC:
Hydroxychloroquine is currently under investigation in clinical trials for pre-exposure or post-exposure prophylaxis of SARS-CoV-2 infection, and treatment of patients with mild, moderate, and severe COVID-19. In the United States, several clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine for prophylaxis or treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection are planned or will be enrolling soon.
There are no currently available data from Randomized Clinical Trials (RCTs) to inform clinical guidance on the use, dosing, or duration of hydroxychloroquine for prophylaxis or treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
We’ve read and watched on the news the horror that doctors and nurses have been enduring as they try to care for an ever increasing number of patients. While it will never be easy for them, at least some of their problems will soon be alleviated. They are truly heroes.
Watch the video: