For weeks, the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Wash., has been seen as the epicenter of the threat of COVID-19 at tightly packed health care facilities. So far, 37 patients have died of the virus.
It hardly gets the national media attention, but a suburban Richmond facility, the Canterbury Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center, maybe surpassing Life Care with 35 deaths of the virus as of April 8.
Why so many deaths?
That’s an important question. There have already been signs of mismanagement there. Henrico County Manager John Vithoulkas has been unusually scathing in his criticism of Canterbury. He has said that the deaths could have been avoided and administrators at the facility rejected offers of help from the county.
To be sure, early on Canterbury officials had asked for emergency supplies of medical equipment, such as face masks. They asked for state help and the state asked the federal government to let it have supplies from a stockpile it keeps for just such occurrences.
It will be a while before what happened at Canterbury is sorted out.
There are a few takeaways right now.
One is that President Donald Trump’s pathetically incompetent handling of the pandemic crisis is killing people. Trump has claimed that equipment is available when it isn’t. In his confused babbling, he says that states are on their own to get life-saving gear like ventilators, setting off drastic competition to secure gear..
Another takeaway is that Canterbury is a privately-owned facility. It is owned by Marquis Health Services that is based in Moorestown, N.J. The company operates more than 30 acute care facilities in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Massachusetts.
This is important to note because on this blog, some contributors have pretended that there is no failure in the private sector regarding the pandemic. They instead beat up on Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, for his alleged failings at fighting the virus. They claim that Northam simply can’t handle a big health crisis. This is an odd complaint since Northam is a physician who served as an Army doctor in the Gulf Wars.
A bipartisan group of Members of Congress from Virginia are trying to get federal help. Democrats Abigail Spanberger and Jennifer Wexton along with Republicans Denver Riggleman and Morgan Griffith have urged Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar for extra funding to help critical care facilities get more protective gear.
This is the real battle zone, not anti-government witch hunts by the conservatives at Bacon’s Rebellion.There are currently no comments highlighted.