By Taxpayers Association of Oregon
When Governor Brown closed much of Oregon a few weeks ago, she did it because of the rise in hospitalizations,
Oregonian reported at the time, “Brown said despite her best efforts to keep the economy open while holding back on virus-control measures, she will cancel a “warning week” buffer and immediately move what looks like a dozen counties into an “extreme risk” category by next Friday if the number of statewide hospitalized patients reaches 300…Oregon is about to hit that “extreme risk” trigger any day now, with hospitalized patients at 276 “
A million Oregonians in high risk counties were thrown into economic shock, disarray and shutdown at that time because the number of virus hospitalizations increased by 25 people and then some more over the next few days.
If painfully impacting a million people for the sake of these small number, it begs the question on the total $5 billion in federal Covid relief funds sent to Oregon, on how much was dedicated to hospitalizations? How much did we expand hospital capacity during the pandemic? These are questions taxpayers would like to know.
If these 25 new cases are so important (which they are) in order to shut down our economy, then why not save their lives by expanding capacity? One major component of expanding general hospital care into intensive care is the level of monitoring a patient receives. This can be expanded easier than we think — especially of you have $5 billion dollars. Yet, the politicians are talking about using Covid funds for local slush fund projects. Did they already spend enough on capacity?
Remember, the shutdown has been tied to deaths due to increased violence, substance abuse, suicide and blocking people from getting timely cancer diagnoses. Shutting down people’s livelihoods is not a death-free choice.
Oregon should do a self-check on our capacity, our Covid funds, and our priorities since we just experienced a short-lived third shutdown that looked like a botched effort.