OAKLAND, Calif. - Uncle Sam is literally sending in troops of doctors and nurses to try to flatten the curve a California town with the worst infection rate of all as a tidal wave of COVID-19 sweeps over whole medical care systems. This good news on this first in the nation pilot treatment program comes on the same day that Health & Human Services announced the rationing of care and resources for those who can be saved.
Imperial County, a vast agricultural area along the Mexican border, is ground zero for the most Covid infections per capita in the nation. "The hospital that's busting at the seams." said Dr. Adolphe Edward, CEO of the El Centro Regional Medical Center, that serves hundreds of thousands of people area wide. The doctor said he has one fervent wish, especially for his medical staff. "Relieve the community of the pressure and the stress that we've been under," said Dr. Edward.
The Federal Health and Human Services and Defense departments have sent in a Disaster Medical Assistance Team, for at least a month, to try to cut Covid off before high risk patients begin to show serious symptoms. "Doctors, nurses, X-ray techs, various medical personnel from across the country that donate their time to respond out to disasters," said Emergency Consultant and Former FEMA Coordinator Mark Neveau. The team will administer 'Emergency Use Approved' drugs from Regeneron and Eli Lilly; the kind of drugs that quickly and successfully make patients feel better; the same thing that worked for President Trump. "Now we have these potential therapies; but we have these therapies to potentially benefit thousands of Americans," said Dr. Michael Anderson, a consulting physician to HHS.
In simplest terms, these medicines contain materials that mimic the human body's ability to fight off targeted infections such as COVID-19. "It keeps them healthy and it preserves hospital capacity our hospitals are already literally breaking or at the breaking point," said Dr. Anderson.
This will not only improve patient care and lower the number of admissions, it will also reduce the relentless workload on medical staff who are doing all they can under great pressure. "The treatment that they're bringing here, the infusion treatment, is really key to making a world of change as we get into 2021," said Dr. Edward. "Go home potentially, maybe never go to the hospital," said Neveau.
All of this raises the real possibility to use these teams could be deployed nationwide to keep COVID-19 at bay until enough vaccines are administered to give the overall population so-called 'herd immunity.'