Media Scare About Hospitals is Misleading

U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services Data Hub Fact Checks Overcrowding

Posted In: News, Investigative Reporting, State, National,   By: Robert E Martin

09th December, 2020     0

While we are back in the  ‘media scare stage’ about hospitals being overwhelmed and Gov. Whitmer using this as a basis to once again extend lockdowns by another 12 days - the good news is that, just like the last time, this is simply not the case.

This link from the U..S. Department of Health & Human Services Public Data Hub allows one to download national & state data of COVID-19 Estimated Patient and Hospital Capacity by State.

It shows national estimates of inpatient beds occupied by all patients at 499,513 (or 70.1%) while inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients are at 103,114 (or 14.47%). ICU Beds occupied by all patents are at 64,009 or 60.14%

90% of inpatient beds and ICU is normal - even 100% ICU is normal. Calling these current figures low and using it as a basis to extend lockdowns is outlandish, especially since ICU’s can flex to 125% by federal mandate.  Indeed, most ICU’s can flex to 150-200% - they just do not leave the beds staffed when they are not needed because it’s too expensive.

Hospitals are like airlines or hotels - they seek to be full, not empty; building capacity you do not use is how you lose money.  With the current crisis, it's not about hospital capacity so much as hospital staffing, which leads one to ask why if a second wave was anticipated did governmental entities not do more to facilitate hospitals to be more prepared and more fully staffed at this stage of the game? 

Even in Philadelphia: 17% COVID, 73% all beds, 82% all ICU. These are low numbers, especially for this time of year with December and January being peak flu season.

Everyone is freaking out about Texas hospitals, except for the people who actually run Texas hospitals. Check this link out as well.

It pretty much tells you everything you need to know about the panic patrol and their relationship to facts:  “The number of hospitalizations are “being misinterpreted” said Houston Methodist Hospital CEO Marc Bloom, “and quite frankly, we’re concerned that there is a level of alarm in the community that is unwarranted right now.”

We need to seriously ask ourselves why the whole world, egged on by media and government seeking to frighten and inflame rather than inform, has lost all historical perspective this year and isn't doing more to facilitate staffing issues at this juncture.


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