All across Alaska, hospital executives and doctors are addressing city and borough assemblies to explain the dire circumstances of our current health care system during this latest surge of COVID. Our hospitals are full and the staff is exhausted. There are not enough critical care staff and beds to meet the needs of Alaskans. Our system has been described as on the verge of imminent collapse.
Last week, Central Peninsula Hospital Chief Operating Officer Shaun Keef came before the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly to give a report on the current status of and share concerns about the uptick of patients coming to the hospital with COVID. The response from Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce was a rambling, incoherent, unscientific-based take on how he thinks our hospital should treat COVID patients.
Mr. Pierce wants our doctors to treat COVID patients with unproven, dangerous methods currently being touted by the far-right America’s Frontline Doctors. This group is pushing ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine as perfectly safe treatments/cures for COVID. To my knowledge, not a single FDA, CDC or WHO official, scientist or doctor supports using these items as a treatment for COVID.
Pierce expressed no concern for the exhausted doctors and nurses, who are our friends, neighbors and families. These medical professionals stand, unfailingly, on the front lines doing all they can to save the lives of their patients while the borough mayor appears to make light of the suffering by recommending unproven, dangerous treatments.
Mr. Pierce expressed no compassion regarding the level of COVID infections in our community or state. He offered only mindless (and misleading) babble about unproven drugs used by America’s Frontline doctors. He callously challenged our physician’s treatment of COVID patients.
Mr. Pierce owes our hospital staff and our communities an apology for his blatant disregard of the current circumstances. Additionally, other elected officials on the Kenai Peninsula have continued to ignore the data and allow politics to drive their decisions regarding the mitigation of COVID. They are not conducting themselves as leaders when they ignore the best information provided by the CDC, our local hospital and doctors and public health officials.
We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the doctors and nurses who continue to put their lives on the line every single day for each and everyone of us. Thank you to their families, who have also endured long absences of their loved ones while they work every day during a deadly pandemic.
As Alaskans, we want truth and accountability. We want decisions based on science-driven data, not personal opinion. We want safe and healthy communities. We would appreciate it if our elected officials would work toward that common goal.
— Fay Herold, chair Gulf Coast Democrats House Districts 29-32