It is, of course, true that Orange Man Bad. But to blame him for the actions of the very swamp he claims to want to drain is going a bit far. Yet that’s what the latest fool to join The Guardian tries to do:
The USNS comfort, the navy hospital ship deployed to New York City this week, was supposed to house 1,000 patients. Instead, it’s taken in only 20, refusing to accept New Yorkers suffering with coronavirus.
Sitting on idle on the Hudson River, the ship is quickly becoming a symbol of all that has gone horrifically wrong with both the federal and local response to the Covid-19 outbreak. There are about 50,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in New York City alone, with more than a thousand dead. Many, with the right course of action, could have been prevented.
OK, cool. We’re even willing to agree with the set up here. We’ve a pandemic, we’ve empty hospital beds, what is it that is preventing ill people from occupying those empty beds?
But military and bureaucratic hurdles have prevented the Comfort from accepting most patients.
Strict rules are preventing people infected with the virus from coming on board. The navy is also refusing to treat a host of other conditions. Guidelines sent to hospitals included a list of 49 medical conditions that would exclude a patient from admittance to the ship.
Ambulances cannot take patients directly to the Comfort. First, they must deliver patients to a city hospital to be tested for the virus and then pick them up again for transport to the ship. Hospital leaders rightfully find the delays untenable.
Not so cool but OK, we’ll accept the diagnosis. The swamp, the bureaucracy, so envelops our society that good things cannot be done.
The solution is obvious enough. Open the navy hospital ship to coronavirus patients….
OK, cool again, why not? All we’ve got to do is ignore the regulations that the bureaucracy has festooned all over our society, kill off the progressive idea of governance for everything and, hopefully and if we may, shoot a few bureaucrats. Very cool.
Ultimately, politicians like Trump and Cuomo invested far too much hope in one hospital ship. It’s the tragic consequence of failing in the most brutal way to prepare for such a pandemic. America knew what was happening in China, Spain, Italy and elsewhere: there were many weeks of lead time that other countries couldn’t benefit from.
Trump, a deeply incompetent executive who denies science, could not ramp up testing to create any kind of accurate picture of which Americans were infected and needed to be quarantined. Federal guidelines for social distancing came too late.
The FDA and CDC conspired to ensure that no tests were available, that private labs wouldn’t be allowed to conduct them anyway. We’ve even had the FDA insisting that home tests are illegal. This ship can’t be used because bureaucracy. The man who wants to kill much of the Federal bureaucracy is at fault for this?