Letter: State chooses economy over health

The reality is that the pandemic is getting worse by the day. Focusing mainly on nursing homes is only a small step in the solution for our state [State not releasing detailed case data, Oct. 30]. The nursing home situation would not have occurred if the state would have cared more for the disabled and the elderly by providing months ago adequate staffing with adequate training of the staff for the pandemic. In addition, it did not provide all of the tools necessary to contain the virus, i.e. regular testing of residents and staff, more masks, gloves, hand sanitation, etc., etc. The state decided not to use, and still is not using, all of the CARES money for the most vulnerable citizens of our state.

Besides the nursing home situation, the rest of the state is suffering as well. In practice, the state has chosen the economy over health. The mask mandate has no teeth without some type of enforcement. In addition, what will it take (deaths, hospitalization, ICU capacity, etc.) for the governor to decide that Stage 5 is not working. With the incidents rising, consequences will follow!

It appears that the approach to contain the virus has been tangled up in national and state politics. Having an election this fall complicates the situation as well. Indiana is at an extreme disadvantage since public health has never been a priority for the state and we do not have an independent voice, e.g. Dr. Anthony Fauci, to remind the emperor that “he is plumb naked.” With only one predominant medical school, there has been no medical voice to criticize how things have been handled by the state.

Finally, if one has any sense of history, one would know that we are making the same mistakes as were done with the 1918 pandemic.

__________

Dr. Phillip D. Toth,
Midwest Institute for Clinical Research

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