Hundreds of doctors have signed and sent a letter to President Trump, calling the country’s lockdown a “mass casualty incident.” The lockdown is not sustainable for much longer, and anxious citizens are searching for answers.
Los Angeles Dr. Simone Gold penned the letter, which was signed by more than 600 doctors, urging the president to end the lockdown, warning of “exponentially growing health consequences.”
In the letter obtained by Fox News, the doctors outlined several of the unintended negative consequences of the shutdown orders, as fearful patients are neglecting their health issues, missing checkups with their physician which means serious health issues such as cancer and diabetes could remain undetected. Increases in alcohol and substance abuse are leading to mental issues, poor health, and poverty.
“Millions of Americans are already [in critical condition],” the letter argued. “These include 150,000 Americans per month who would have had a new cancer detected through routine screening that hasn’t happened, millions who have missed routine dental care to fix problems strongly linked to heart disease/death, and preventable cases of stroke, heart attack, and child abuse. Suicide hotline phone calls have increased 600%.
“We are alarmed at what appears to be the lack of consideration for the future health of our patients,” the doctors added, noting real-life examples they have witnessed in their practices. “The downstream health effects … are being massively underestimated and underreported. This is an order of magnitude error.” Many health issues may go unnoticed due to the pandemic sweeping the country, and the doctors are concerned.
Hiding in plain sight
“The millions of casualties of a continued shutdown will be hiding in plain sight, but they will be called alcoholism, homelessness, suicide, heart attack, stroke, or kidney failure. In youths it will be called financial instability, unemployment, despair, drug addiction, unplanned pregnancies, poverty, and abuse,” the letter stated.
Four of the doctors who signed the letter told Fox News they believe the indirect effects of the shutdowns were greater than the direct consequences that would be experienced by lifting them.
“The very initial argument … which sounded reasonable three months ago, is that in order to limit the overwhelmed patient flux into hospitals that would prevent adequate care, we needed to spread out the infections and thus the deaths in specific locales that could become hotspots, particularly New York City. … It was a valid argument at the beginning based on the models that were given,” said Dr. Mark McDonald, a psychiatrist. “What we’ve seen now over the last three months is that no city—none, zero—outside of New York has even been significantly stressed.”
With millions having lost their jobs or being forced to close their businesses, others are suffering due to prolonged stay-at-home rules. The letter details several patients’ experiences from the extended lockdown.
“Patient E.S. is a mother with two children whose office job was reduced to part time and whose husband was furloughed,” the letter reads. “The father is drinking more, the mother is depressed and not managing her diabetes well, and the children are barely doing any schoolwork.”
“Patient A.F. has chronic but previously stable health conditions,” it continues. “Her elective hip replacement was delayed, which caused her to become nearly sedentary, resulting in a pulmonary embolism in April.”
Dr. Jeffrey Barke, from Newport, California, believes herd immunity will help protect those more susceptible to the virus, such as the elderly and immune-compromised.
“There are thousands of us out there that don’t agree with the perspective of Dr. Fauci and [White House coronavirus response coordinator] Dr. [Deborah] Birx that believe, yes, this virus is deadly, it’s dangerous, and it’s contagious, but only to a select group of Americans,” he said. “The path forward is to allow the young and healthy, the so-called herd, to be exposed and to develop a degree of antibodies that both now is protective to them and also prevents the virus from spreading to the most vulnerable.”