COVID19 News Update for Monday 4/6/20

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Mon, 04/06/2020 - 2:00pm to 2:15pm

It’s time for the KBOO afternoon news update for Monday April 6th, 2020.


The number of COVID19 cases in Oregon is one thousand sixty eight, as of this morning, with twenty seven fatalities.

The US has a third of the cases worldwide, with three hundred and fifty eight thousand confirmed cases, and over ten thousand deaths – four thousand of them in New York state.


A number of states have donated and loaned respirators to New York, as the state hits what are likely to be peak numbers of coronavirus cases in the next several days.

Oregon sent one hundred forty respirators to New York on Friday, and this morning California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that California is lending 400 respirators to New York – even as that state faces growing numbers of coronavirus cases.

A Silicon Valley engineer managed to reverse engineer the respirators given to California from the federal stockpile – all of which were broken.

Thanks to the engineer, the respirators are all now fixed and in operation.

Other companies in California have taken on the challenge of constructing respirators quickly and efficiently to try to meet the rapidly increasing demand.


Proponents of Medicare for All have pointed out that the respirator shortage in the US is a result of privatized healthcare, in which shortages are generated in order to increase profit. Adam Gaffney pointed out in a recent article that in the American way of paying for healthcare, our hospitals or corporate multi-hospital systems are silos, some rich and some poor, each fending for themselves, locked in market competition. This leads to shortages in some areas with over-abundance in others – based not on medical need, but on markets and profits.


The University of Washington has put together a visualization of all cases of COVID19 in the US, broken up by state, in order to project when the virus will peak in each state, and what the projected shortfall in medical equipment will be.

Oregon is projected to peak on April 21st, with 227 patients hospitalized from the virus on that date – and no shortage of ICU beds or ventilators.

This is a much lower number than earlier predicted, and is based on at least 90% of the population remaining at home and following the Governor’s order, in order to slow the spread of the virus.

Other states, like New York, are not faring so well under this projection.

There have been over 4,000 deaths from coronavirus in New York already, and the virus is projected to peak in two days, on April 8th, with a shortage of nearly six thousand Intensive Care Unit beds, and a shortage of fifty six hundred ventilators.

Nationally, the shortage of ventilators – ie. the number needed minus the amount already available – will be about twenty five thousand as the virus outbreak peaks.

That visualization can be found on the website health data dot org.


In Washington DC, During a press briefing Sunday night, Donald Trump stopped the nation's top infectious disease expert, Anthony Fauci, from answering a reporter's question about the efficacy of an anti-malaria drug that the president has recklessly touted as a possible COVID-19 treatment despite warnings from medical professionals.

As late as Saturday night, Trump was promoting hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID19. Although clinical trials have begun with this and other possible anti-viral medications, no conclusions have been made yet, and encouraging people to take it is reckless and dangerous, according to medical professionals.

Three Nigerians overdosed on hydroxychloroquine after following Trump’s recommendation, and an Arizona man died and his wife was hospitalized when they swallowed fish tank cleaner that contained a type of commercial grade chloroquine. The wife said after the death of her husband that quote “no one should ever listen to advice from Donald Trump”.


In Brooklyn this evening, registered nurses at the Brooklyn Veterans Administration Hospital are holding a protest during shift change.

Due to short staffing, RNs in the Brooklyn VA intensive care unit are caring for as many as five COVID-19 patients at one time, while the standard of care is usually a maximum of two ICU patients to one RN, or even a maximum of one, depending on the severity of the case.

The Nurses Union is calling on President Trump to immediately exercise full executive powers under the Defense Production Act to ramp up production of N95 respirator masks and other critical personal protective equipment and to ensure the immediate and continued distribution of this equipment to nurses and other health care workers on the front lines.

The union is also calling on the VA to immediately deploy properly trained RNs to the Brooklyn VA and other VA facilities to assist in caring for critically ill patients in units that are dangerously short-staffed.


That’s it for the KBOO afternoon COVID19 news update.

Tune in today and every weekday at 5 pm for more local, national and international news produced by our remote news team, working from their homes and coordinating online to bring you the latest news from Portland, Oregon and the world.

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