This morning, NPR reported some very troubling news:
More than 1,000 hospitals across the United States are “critically” short on staff, according to numbers released this week by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Those hospitals, which span all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, represent about 18% of all hospitals that report their staffing status to HHS. And that number is expected to grow: 21% of all hospitals reporting say they anticipate having critical staffing shortages in the next week.
Here in Virginia, 29% of hospitals are reportedly having staffing shortages – “brought on by a resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic” – with that percentage increasing to a whopping 41% of hospitals anticipated next week. Obviously, this is *really* bad, given that “capacity, in terms of staffing, is probably the biggest challenge that hospitals are facing right now” and also “the fear…that if the surge continues, hospitals will have to begin operating with crisis standards of care, guidelines for prioritizing care when resources run short.”
Finally, sad to say but not surprising, there’s zero leadership coming from the Trump administration on this crisis, as “[t]wo state hospital associations — Missouri’s and Texas’ — told NPR they were not aware of any federal government support to their hospitals to help with staffing shortages.” It’s truly appalling and disgraceful…and of course the Trump administration is responsible.