With All Due Respect....

With All Due Respect Episode 31

September 05, 2021 Andrew Halcro
With All Due Respect....
With All Due Respect Episode 31
Show Notes Transcript

In a special episode we talk how Governor Mike Dunleavy and Mayor Dave Bronson are playing politics with Alaskan lives with their negligent COVID response.

Show 31
 WITH ALL DUE RESPECT
 SEPTEMBER 5, 2021

 

The current events of Covid
 …have become so overwhelming
 
 …it is time to call out 
 …Governor Mike Dunleavy
 and Mayor Dave Bronson
 
 …for their negligent response
 …to a dire public health crisis
 …that is killing Alaskans
 

Alaska’s public health system
 …is on fire
 …while both Governor Dunleavy
 …and Mayor Bronson
 …fiddle

Last week
 …Alaska ranked as the state
 …with the third-highest increase
 …in hospitalizations
 …over the past two weeks
 …behind Louisiana and Alabama.
 
 There were 170 people hospitalized
 …with the virus around the state
 …higher than at any other point in the pandemic

At Soldotna’s Central Peninsula Hospital
 …they had an intensive-care unit 
 …filled entirely with COVID-19 patients.

The hospital is operating at 112% capacity
…with 55 patients for 49 beds. 
 
 

Hospital administrators across the state
have described an unprecedented strain
…on the state’s health care system
 
…that shows no signs of abating
 
Alaska’s largest hospital, Providence Alaska Medical Center
…has operated with its adult inpatient beds 
…at capacity for the last few weeks
…and nearly all of its ICU beds are consistently full.

Providence has already postponed 
 …non-urgent elective surgeries
 …and has just announced
 …strict new limitations
 …for visitors to the hospital

Last week
 …during a House Health and Social Services 
 …committee meeting
 …on the pandemic

…you could hear the voices breaking
 …of health care professionals
 …who have been watching their front lines
 …of very short staffs
 …pushed way past the point of exhaustion
 …with no reprieve in sight.

Preston Simmons – CEO – Providence Alaska

Said Quote…

“we’re seeing more serious conditions
…demanding more serious care
…at a time there is no capacity”

So…why are there more serious cases with 
…this Delta Variant?

Because two out of three Alaska adults
 …have underlying health conditions that
 …increase their chances of serious illness
 …from COVID-19

 So for all of those who refuse the vaccine
 …for whatever reason
 …two out of three are at risk for
 …serious illness due to underlying
 …health conditions
 
 And…here they are
 …showing up
 …in emergency rooms
 
 Ladies and Gentlemen
 …that warning about 2/3
 …of Alaska adults 
 …being at high risk
 
 Do you know where that came from?

Governor Dunleavy’s own Department of Health
 …last November.

So a governor who is doing little or nothing
 …to help advocate for vaccinations
 …or little else
 …is ignoring warnings
 …from his own Department of Health
 
 …and now here we are.

 Simmons the CEO at Providence
 …described the
 …ER overcrowding at Alaska’s largest hospital

 Up to 4 hour waits
 
 ER waiting rooms so overcrowded
 …they’ve been forced
 …to require patients
 …to wait in their vehicles
 …in the parking lot.

 
This is Alaska’s largest hospital for God’s sake!
 
…and their Emergency Room has been forced to
…become like some 
…21st century MASH unit
…performing car hop triage
 

Alaska’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Anne Zink
 …echoed the voices of Alaska’s health care providers
 
“I never wanted to see our hospitals where they are right now and it’s not a good place”

 And ladies and gentlemen
 …we must remember …that…
 …when considering
 …the Delta Variant and it’s
 …devastating effects on hospitals
 
 Life goes on

 …from stitches to stroke patients
 …the sick, injured or dying 
 …don’t stop happening because
 …of the virus
 
 And ladies and gentlemen
 …we are not a healthy population
 …so this matters when talking about 
 …hospital capacity
 
 I mean
 …we literally lead the league in
 …obesity, smoking, diabetes, heart disease
 
 67% of Alaskans are overweight or obese
 30% of Alaskans have hypertension
 32% of Alaskans have high blood cholesterol
 9% of Alaskans have cancer
 9% of Alaskans have diabetes
 
 And so with all of these
 …factors I’ve described above
 
 …what does Alaska’s Chief Medical Officer say

Last week Dr. Anne Zink told a group of school administrators

“this honestly for me is the worst point 
 …in the pandemic is where we’re at right now.”
 
 

So what is Governor Mike Dunleavy doing?
 
 …as the leader of a state
 …that ranks 34 out of 50 states for vaccinations
 
 
 What is Governor Mike Dunleavy doing
 
…whose hospital officials are pleading for help
 …as their patients are being
 …packed, stacked and racked 
 ..due to overcrowding
 
 And whose chief medical officer 
 …is ringing the pandemic alarm bells
 …and warning this is the 
 …worst point in the pandemic

He has the legislature hold up in Juneau
 …working on his ideas.

Lawmakers today
 …are in Juneau debating dividends
 …and making up for Dunleavy’s
 …mistaken public health vetoes
 
 Last week
 Gov. Mike Dunleavy asked the Legislature
 …to restore $1.25 million in funds
 …for the state’s public health nursing program
 …that he vetoed just two months ago

Alaska’s Public Health Nursing program
…has been an important component
…of the state’s response to the covid-19 pandemic

Traditionally the public nursing health program
…is responsible for everything from
…well child exams and WIC exams
…to STD infection services

However for the last year
…during the pandemic
…and being short staffed
…those critical services
…have been either put on hold
…or severely limited

They originally argued that without funding
…they’d suffer further decline
…in all non pandemic
…response services

Again we are not a healthy population 
 …and have significant high risk populations
 …violence against women/child abuse etc
 
 ..with all of these issues
 …public health nurses play a key role

But two months ago the
 …governor said he’d get
 …the cash somewhere else
 …and so he vetoed the $1.25 million
 
 But now Dunleavy wants a do over.

“At the time this veto was made
 …just a couple short months ago
 …the situation with covid response
 …was much different
 …than it was now with the Delta variant,”
 
 So that has caused the governor
 …to reconsider that veto action
 …in light of new events.
 
 …a state budget director
 …testified to lawmakers.



Now…

Since the governor has recognized new events with the pandemic.

…and…since the governor’s chief medical officer has stated
…this is the worst it’s ever been.

So Governor Dunleavy,
 …how about an emergency disaster declaration…?

 In order to put this into context
 …we need a history lesson.
 
 

Up until five months ago
 …the state of Alaska along with
 …many other states
 …operated under an emergency declaration
 
 By operating under an emergency declaration
…paperwork, regulations, people, processing
 …all go quicker to solve problems
 …and offer care
 
 An emergency order is just that
 …it relays an official order
 …recognizing the urgency of the situation
 
 …it pushes the bureaucracy along
 …in order to deliver
 …the faster level of service
 …required
 …due to the pandemic
 
 On April 30…just five months ago
 
Governor Dunleavy declared
 …that Alaska had been successful
 …in keeping infections, hospitalizations
 …and death rates
 …he was rescinding the emergency order.
 
 Dunleavy said

 “Alaska is in the recovery phase 
 …where an emergency declaration 
 …is no longer necessary


 When Dunleavy announced this
 …about 50% of Alaskans 16 and older 
 …had received at least one 
 …COVID-19 vaccine shot

At the time Alaska was amongst 
 …the top vaccinated states in America

Today Alaska ranks 34 out of 50 in vaccinations.
 
 Now…this is important
 …when Dunleavy announced the end of the initial emergency order
 …five months ago
 …he said
 
 “nothing prevents us from issuing another disaster declaration
 …if the pandemic worsens in Alaska”

 If the pandemic worsens …he promised…

Ladies and gentlemen allow me to repeat a quote
…from Dunleavy’s Chief Medical Officer

“this honestly for me is the worst point in the pandemic is where we’re at right now.”

 The worst point of the pandemic.
 
 Seems like this should meet
 …Governor Dunleavy’s pre-requisite
 …for declaring an emergency order.
 
 But no.
 
 
 Today Alaska is facing a harder, more lethal strain of covid with the delta variant

 It has become too common
 …to see videos on social media
 …from exhausted 
 …health care workers 
 …trying to get across 
 …to Alaskans how serious this is
 
 Their desperate voices falling into a vacuum 
 …of human frustration 
 …due to the lack of
 …political will
 …leadership
 …and guidance

The situation was best voiced by
…Jared Kosin
 …the CEO of the
 …Alaska State Hospital & Nursing Home Association
 
 who testified to lawmakers…
 
 “Our world is on fire and we need help.
 …all we want is support
 …and we want it now”

 When he was asked by
 …committee members if an
 …emergency declaration would help
 …he replied emphatically…YES.
 
 So
 
 The people on the ground
 …dealing with this crisis
 …say they need a disaster declaration
 …but the governor says no they don’t
 
 The following day
 …the very next day
…Dunleavy sent a letter to
 …Senate President Peter Meceche 
 
 

Writing quote
…some groups want me to declare
 …a disaster but I’m not going to do that.
 …He went on to write that his way was best.

So even though five months ago
 …he assured Alaskans
 …if the pandemic got worse 
 …he would declare 
 …another disaster declaration
 
 Today 
 …the pandemic is the worst
 …it’s ever been
 
 …and yet the dude is
 …whistling while
 …he walks past a
 …health care system
 …at its breaking point


 Ladies and Gentlemen
 
 …the fact is Governor Mike Dunleavy is playing politics 
 with Alaska’s public health

A disaster declaration would go against 
 …the heart and soul of his base
 …who believe COVID is a conspiracy
 …more than they believe it’s an emergency
 
 It would show to everyone
 …that all of his prior
 …claims that his COVID response
 …was mission accomplished
 …was a mission failed
 
 Running for re-election next year
 …Dunleavy doesn’t want to fall out of standing
 …with other GOP governors
 …who ignored science as well
 …while their constituents continued to die 

But this is the absolute kicker
 
 Let me show you how Governor Dunleavy
 …is playing politics with Alaska’s public health

One of the bills
 …he introduced recently
 …as a response to the virus
 …was a bill that allowed
 …tele-medicine to be
 …better utilized
 
 However
…these exact same provisions
 …were automatically included in the prior
 …disaster declaration
 …And
 …would be automatically reactivated with another declaration
 
 Governor Dunleavy could improve
 …tele-medicine during a pandemic
 …immediately
 …by simply signing a piece of paper

 But no…
 …in order to avoid issuing
 …a disaster declaration
 …that would ruin his entire political narrative…
 
 …his choice is to propose
 …easing health care regulations
 …during a pandemic
 …by filing a formal piece of legislation
 …that must go through the entire
 …legislative process
 
 …instead of simply signing the declaration
 …and having it happen immediately.
 
 Governor Dunleavy is playing politics
 …with the health of Alaskans
 …and the health of Alaska’s public health system
 
 

Both Governor Mike Dunleavy 
 …and Mayor Dave Bronson
 …could take proper steps to help stem the tide

Simple, basic, proper steps any leader would take
…when their residents are getting sick
 …their hospitals are 
 …over flowing into the parking lot
 …and health care professionals
 …are pleading desperately
 …for help
 
 Both Governor Dunleavy 
 …and Mayor Bronson could begin acting 
 …like responsible leaders 
 …and caring human beings
 
 They could both
 …recognize the problem
 …talk about the problem
 …encourage mask wearing
 …encourage vaccinations
 …suggest measures to restrain the problem
 
 Or hell at least
 …offer recognition and support
 …to Alaska’s health care workers
 …who are cleaning up a deadly
 …mess
 …that both Dunleavy and Bronson
 …are exacerbating
 
 
 Ladies and Gentlemen
  
 …think about the headlines
 …you’ve seen every day
 …for the last two weeks

The sickness
 The pain
 The death
 
 Think of the dramatic plea
 …from the doctor in the Valley
 …who talked about standing over
 …his patient as he lay dying from COVID
 …holding a phone so his daughter
 …could facetime with him
 
 Now…
Image knowing you have the power to try and change things
because your name is Governor Mike Dunleavy
or Mayor Dave Bronson.

But yet you don’t
 …because it doesn’t fit your
 …political narrative.

 In the words of Doctor Anne Zink

  “we really need every Alaskan to help us pull forward to protect each other.”

Let’s face it…she’s right.

The only thing Alaskans have to protect us
 …is each other
 
 Because it’s clear 
 ….during this crisis

both Governor Dunleavy
 …and Mayor Bronson
 …won’t be protecting
 …anything but their 
 …political brands
 
 
 Stay safe everyone