At his daily briefing on Tuesday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo offered reporters a reprise of his “even if it saves a single life” speech. He said, “There’s a cost of staying closed. There’s also a cost of reopening quickly. That’s the hard truth we are dealing with. Let’s be honest about it. Let’s be open about. The question comes down to how much is a human life worth? What the government does today will literally determine how many people live, and how many people die. That is not hyperbolic.”
It’s time for a reality check governor.
According to The Toronto Star, Ontario’s independent Financial Accountability Office (FAO) has calculated that more than 50,000 operations and treatments of all types were postponed after hospitals were cleared for COVID-19.
Last week, Health Minister Christine Elliott told reporters, “Ontarians have died because thousands of surgeries and procedures were delayed to clear hospitals for a catastrophic surge of COVID-19 cases that hasn’t materialized…A report has been released today by University Health Network (UHN) with respect to cardiac deaths and it has been estimated that approximately 35 people may have passed away because their surgeries were not performed.”
She said, “We feel for those families who have lost family members whether it has been from cancer deaths or cardiac deaths or a COVID-19 death, but these were decisions that we had to make. That’s not something any of us want to hear. It certainly was not intended. Any death is a tragedy.”
Elliott added that “decisions on delayed treatments were made by teams of doctors and other medical professionals as per pandemic plans written years ago.”
Two hospitals, Toronto General and Toronto Western, are associated with UHN.
So, one small health network estimates that 35 cardiac patients died because COVID delayed life-saving surgeries. How many more died because of delayed procedures for cancer or neurological patients?I How many cancers weren’t detected quite as early as they would have been if hospitals hadn’t gone all COVID all the time?
Toronto is one city in one province of Canada, a country with a population of approximately 37.6 million people. The U.S. population is roughly nine times the size. Consider the number of people whose healthcare has been put on hold due to COVID.
In the U.S., many health professionals whose areas of expertise fall outside of the specialty of infectious diseases, have been furloughed. Some hospitals are empty and others are partially empty. We won’t be surprised to hear that a good number are unable to reopen.
Every week that the lockdown continues means more businesses that won’t reopen, from restaurants to retail stores, and more people who won’t have a job to return to. This will bring financial ruin to many. It will translate into human misery, suicide, divorce, mental instability.
The fact is Governor that, at a certain point, you can put a price on human life. And many Americans believe we’ve reached our limit. Those who are at risk should continue to quarantine, but the other 90% of us are ready to get back to the business of living.
PS Governor: You weren’t too concerned about the value of a human life last January when you passed the most aggressive abortion legislation in the country. In fact, you were so excited that you lit up the World Trade Center in pink.