Idaho Gov. Brad Little announced on Tuesday that has reactivated the National Guard and has directed up to 370 additional personnel to support state hospitals amid a surge in COVID-19 cases in the state.
The Republican governor said in a news release on Tuesday that just four intensive care unit beds out of nearly 400 were available on Tuesday in the entire state, adding that there are more COVID-19 patients in ICU beds in Idaho “than ever before. The vast majority of them are unvaccinated.”
“Where hospitals have converted other spaces to be used as contingency ICU beds, those are filling up too,” Little said.
“We are dangerously close to activating statewide crisis standards of care—a historic step that means Idahoans in need of healthcare could receive a lesser standard of care or may be turned away altogether,” the governor added. “In essence, someone would have to decide who can be treated and who cannot. This affects all of us, not just patients with COVID-19.”
As part of Tuesday’s order, 370 personnel will be deployed statewide, including up to 150 guardsmen to “support short-staffed medical facilities.” They will be tasked with logistical support such as screenings, lab work, and other duties, the governor said.
A further 200 medical and administrative personnel will be made available to the state through a contract with the U.S. General Services Administration, while a 20-person Department of Defense medical response team will be deployed to North Idaho, where vaccination rates are among the lowest in the state.
“Idaho hospitals are beyond constrained. Our healthcare system is designed to deal with the everyday realities of life. Our healthcare system is NOT designed to withstand the prolonged strain caused by an unrestrained global pandemic. It is simply not sustainable,” Little added, urging those who are not yet vaccinated against COVID-19 to do so.
Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin, a Republican who is running to unseat Little for Idaho’s GOP gubernatorial nomination next year, said the governor’s support for vaccinations is “shameful.”
“It was shameful for Brad to suggest today that Idahoans must make a specific medical choice in order to show love for their neighbors,” McGeachin wrote on Twitter. “You can love your neighbor and still make medical decisions that are right for you. I trust YOU to make your own health choices.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of Tuesday, approximately 44 percent of the state’s total population has received at least one dose, with 39 percent fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
“Those who have made the personal medical choice not to take this vaccine deserve to have their decisions respected,” McGeachin said, according to the Idaho Statesman.
From The Epoch Times