Exclusive: Biden sending medical teams to six states to help hospitals overwhelmed by COVID-19

Written by on January 12, 2022

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Overwhelmed hospital braces for subsequent COVID surge

As U.S. coronavirus circumstances, hospitalizations and deaths are all rising, well being officers are warning of a tsunami of recent infections from the omicron variant that would overwhelm hospitals. (Dec. 23)


WASHINGTON – The federal authorities is sending medical groups to 6 states – New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island, Michigan and New Mexico – to assist hospitals overburdened by COVID-19, USA TODAY has discovered.

President Joe Biden is predicted to announce the deployments Thursday when discussing steps the administration is taking to deal with a surge in infections pushed by the omicron variant, in accordance with a White Home official.

His remarks come as hospitalizations for COVID-19 are setting information. Some hospitals are delaying elective surgical procedures as states are deploying Nationwide Guard members to well being care services.

Going through strain from even members of his personal occasion to do extra to get the pandemic beneath management, Biden’s new actions are anticipated to heart on further manpower. 

The necessity in hospitals is steep. And rising.

Roughly one in 5 hospitals reported having “crucial workers shortages” in information launched Wednesday by the Division of Well being and Human Companies, a USA TODAY evaluation discovered. One in 4 anticipated crucial shortages inside the subsequent week.  

Greater than a 3rd of hospitals in Vermont, Wyoming, Arizona, California and West Virginia already are experiencing crucial workers shortages. In New Mexico and Rhode Island, it’s not less than half, the information launched Wednesday present. 

Extra: Kentucky emergency room docs make an pressing plea to the general public as hospitalizations rise

Thursday would be the second time Biden has up to date his winter pandemic technique since saying his plan at first of December, simply as omicron was beginning its unfold.

The extra steps Biden introduced simply earlier than Christmas included mobilizing 1,000 extra army docs, nurses, paramedics, and different medical personnel to deploy to hospitals in January and February.

The surge groups Biden will announce Thursday are the primary wave of these deployments. The groups are heading to:

  • Cleveland Clinic in Ohio;
  • Coney Island Hospital in Brooklyn;
  • Rhode Island Hospital in Windfall;
  • Henry Ford Hospital simply outdoors Detroit;
  • College of New Mexico hospital in Albuquerque;
  • College Hospital in Newark, New Jersey.

A few of the hospitals are getting seven to 10 well being care staff. Others are receiving between 20 and 25.

The groups, and people to be deployed within the coming weeks, are anticipated to assist emergency departments overwhelmed by COVID -19 and to unencumber well being care staff to proceed different lifesaving care.

Biden, together with the heads of the Protection Division and Federal Emergency Administration Company, will converse Thursday with federal surge groups already supporting hospitals in Arizona, New York and Michigan concerning the impression they’ve had and what they’ve discovered. 

Since surge response groups have been first created in July to answer the delta variant, greater than 3,000 personnel have been deployed on a rotating foundation to 39 states and 4 U.S. territories, in accordance with the administration.

Michael Osterholm, director of the Heart for Infectious Illness Analysis and Coverage on the College of Minnesota, mentioned the extra 1,000 troops Biden is now dispatching are solely a drop within the bucket of what’s wanted.

Osterholm, who suggested Biden in the course of the transition, estimated greater than 10% of the nation’s 9.eight million docs, nurses and specialised medical technicians shall be contaminated by COVID-19.

These 980,000 individuals who will be unable to work can’t be changed with simply 1,000 army well being care personnel, he instructed USA TODAY.

“When folks heard that there have been going to be 1,000 (army) people shifted to personal sector hospital help, that looks as if quite a bit,” he mentioned. “I imply, it’s, however on the identical time, whenever you have a look at the quantity that might be out, that is additionally a really, very giant quantity.” 

The heads of greater than 100 overworked North Carolina hospitals pleaded with the general public on Wednesday to assist gradual the unfold of COVID-19 by getting vaccinated, carrying a masks and taking different preventive measures.

With hospitalizations shattering information, well being care staff are struggling to take care of these with different pressing medical wants that aren’t COVID-related, the hospital officers mentioned in a public letter to “sufferers, households and communities we’re proud to serve.”

“It’s heartbreaking,” they wrote, “which is why we’re reaching out to you.”

What consultants say: Like many People, well being consultants are pissed off by the CDC’s ‘messaging downside.’

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Dr. Abraar Karan, an infectious illness fellow at Stanford College, took to Twitter final week to share stats exhibiting the variety of well being care staff testing optimistic on the hospital there tripled in per week.  

The power of a hospital to hold on can change in a day, he mentioned.

The federal medical personnel the administration is dispatching not solely can’t be all over the place, Karan mentioned, however in addition they want time to orient after they land.

“They must discover ways to work inside the hospital infrastructure,” he mentioned. “It isn’t perfect.” 

Requested by reporters Tuesday if the administration is doing sufficient, Biden mentioned he’s been in a position to “generate important federal assist, by way of people each coming into the hospitals and administering all the assistance that these states want.”

“I’m assured we’re heading in the right direction,” he mentioned.

However, for the primary time, extra People disapprove of Biden’s dealing with of COVID-19 than approve, in accordance with polling averages from FiveThirtyEight.

Greater than 4 dozen congressional Democrats signed a letter to Biden this week urging further actions to enhance COVID-19 testing.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., opened a Senate listening to Tuesday sharing her constituents’ frustrations with lengthy testing traces, considerations about whether or not faculties will stay open, and the way hospitals and well being care suppliers are stretched skinny.

“What can my constituents count on to see improved this week and the week after?” Murray requested prime administration officers engaged on the pandemic response.

The strain on well being care staff will proceed for not less than a few weeks, mentioned Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, an infectious ailments knowledgeable and director of ICAP, a worldwide well being heart at Columbia College.

If omicron’s unfold in the USA mimics what’s occurred in different nations, a drop in circumstances might occur as shortly as they elevated.

The information from New York Metropolis, one of many nation’s first omicron hotspots, present indicators that circumstances might have already peaked, El-Sadr mentioned.

“However the subsequent week or two shall be crucial to see the route,” she added. “If we begin seeing that we have peaked, and we’re coming down the opposite aspect of the mountain, then that can actually be reassuring by way of strain letting up on the hospitals.” 

Extra: Omicron infections might have peaked, however hospitalizations and deaths will nonetheless improve for weeks, fashions present

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