Cal. Slacks on Mobilizing Hospital Capacity

by Alyssa Erdley

News with Attitude

According to the World Health Organization, the purpose of a lockdown should only be "to buy you time to reorganize, regroup, re-balance your resources, protect your health workers who are exhausted," as stated by Dr. David Nabarro, WHO envoy. Yet California of-ficials have squandered the past three weeks of curfew and Stay Home Orders, mobilizing no more than 3,000 additional possible hospital beds. Meanwhile, they forced 40 million people to curtail their daily lives and made many more lose their jobs and their liveli-hoods.

If the ostensible reason for the lockdown is to prevent hospitals from overflowing, why haven't our government officials spent the time while we have been locked down mobilizing more hospital capacity?

In Los Angeles County alone, 6,914 people were in the hospital with COVID-19 as of December 28. With each day, the number hospitalized are more than the day before.

The 3,000 additional beds able to be deployed so far - in the entire state - are a wholly inadequate response by state officials.

It is a vain and (deliberately) misleading exercise for political leaders to blame the irresponsible behavior of California residents for the spread of the virus. It was always going to spread once colder weather arrived in the fall. This was predicted and understood. Once a threshold number of people contracted COVID-19, it was, and should have been understood, that this number was going to multiply exponentially based on the number of contacts those people were going to have among family members and essential workers. Alleged bad behavior on the part of the public is not to blame. Furthermore, additional hospital capacity should have been mobilized back in September, when the present surge was predicted. The steps Governor Newsom outlined in his press conference today are a failure to adequately assess the situation and respond to it.

By now, TEN MONTHS into the lockdown, the state of California should have had a ready-to-deploy array of temporary hospitals, arrangements to staff them, and a fully organized methodology for establishing these emergency measures. The people of this state should not have had to suffer yet more restrictions on our rights and liberties because our political leaders didn't have the wherewithal to do what we elected them to do and so allowed our hospitals to be-come overrun with patients.

The insult to the injury as that they continue to blame the in-nocent public for the present untenable situation.


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