Some Anchorage doctors dispute New York Times story on Alaska’s Covid crisis

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The New York Times says doctors in Alaska are now having to make a choice about who lives and who dies.

In a front-page story, Providence Alaska Medical Center Dr. ​​Steven Floerchinger is quoted saying he gathered with his crisis triage colleagues for an agonizing discussion: One patient in the emergency room had a better chance of making it than the other patient, so the other person would have to wait for a bed in the intensive care unit.

“That patient died,” the story says.

“This is gut-wrenching, and I never thought I’d see it,” the newspaper quoted ​​Floerchinger, who lives in Oregon and travels to Alaska to work at Providence Alaska Medical Center. “We are taxed to a point of making decisions of who will and who will not live.”

“Since that night, more grim choices have had to be made as Alaska confronts what is currently the nation’s worst coronavirus outbreak. Nearly two years after the virus began circulating in the United States, some of the scenes here on the country’s northern frontier echo the darkest early days of the pandemic: testing supplies are depleted, patients are being treated in hallways and doctors are rationing oxygen. With emergency rooms overwhelmed, the governor has asked hundreds of medical workers to fly in from around the country to help,” the story says.

Medical workers across America are indeed suffering from burnout, and some are leaving the field. Others are being fired because they will not take the Covid-19 vaccine, but hospitals tell mainstream media reporters that the vaccine requirement is not the cause of the staffing shortages.

Must Read Alaska has reached out to doctors in Anchorage who are disputing that care is being rationed in Alaska.

“Neither I nor any of my close colleagues have seen or heard of a single example,” one doctor said. In fact, the shortage is still not beds, but nursing staff, and it’s not helping that people are being driven from the field by vaccine mandates.

Because of the heavy-handedness of the hospital administration and the intense politicization of care at Providence Alaska Medical Center, the doctors in this story cannot be identified. It’s where they work. It’s where they have to thread the needle with their criticism, trying to preserve their jobs, while advocating for better patient care.

“There is nothing magical about the ICU,” one doctor said. “It’s merely a lower patient-to-nursing ratio, and each room has all of the fixings pre-installed. But do you think we can’t provide ventilation, oxygen, IV drugs and monitoring in any bed? I would like to know why that patient died. My guess is they would have died anyway.”

Another doctor agreed. He, too, cannot be identified because of the risk of being ostracized.

“Medicine has always been triaged here in Alaska — it’s a matter of resources. Does an 80-year-old person need a double heart valve operation when it will only extend his life three years? Probably not, but if you delay that surgery because of Covid ICU bed status and they die in the meantime, it makes a good headline and has a patina of truth,” he said.

“A community doctor trying to get an ICU transfer has to jump through a lot of hoops and that often involves a lot of factors like insurance, transport logistics, and current hospital resources. Sometimes patients that are pretty sick don’t make the cut and sometimes patients that probably shouldn’t do [make the cut] but that’s often ultimately decided by the ICU doc on call in conjunction with the administrator. A quasi elective heart surgery can be (and often was) delayed if it looks like there won’t be staff to cover what is likely to be a 2-3 day stint in the ICU recovering. Covid has complicated this because these patients, once intubated and vented, rarely get better and often take a month to die,” he said.

“The community docs, like they always have done, have to figure out who to triage. My nursing friends at Providence are doing 3:1 ICU management and that’s really hard and leads to burnout. Also leading to burnout is seeing the traveling nurses get signing bonuses, but full time staff not getting retention bonus. So a lot of people are leaving,” he said.

Most ICU nurses are vaccinated, but he believes up to 30 percent of floor nurses are not vaccinated and some of those “are getting out to fill positions at local facilities that have signaled they won’t have a mandate, which makes overall staffing harder because the hospital can’t staff the step-down units (which are for almost-sick-enough-to-be-in-ICU patients) and the ICU patients can’t be discharged to one of those beds,” the doctor said.

The Wall Street Journal also has a story on Sunday about the rationing of healthcare in Alaska. It carries the same message as the New York Times and reports no opposing views.

“In recent weeks, a triage team of doctors at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage have been using a formula to score patients on their potential for dying and consulting with an ethicist on the decisions they make. The patients include those sick with Covid-19 and with other ailments,” the Journal wrote.

“Recently, the team had to choose which of two patients critically ill with Covid-19 should use a single specialized dialysis machine. The team saw little hope for one patient and selected the other to start dialysis. The patient who had to wait died,” the newspaper wrote.

“’We have the most highly sophisticated medicine and advanced training in the world, and we’re having to ration care,” Dr. Javid Kamali, an intensive-care doctor at Providence, told the Wall Street Journal. “We didn’t sign up for this.”

But the five doctors Must Read Alaska spoke to said neither they nor their close colleagues have seen rationing. One doctor pointed out that Alaska Regional Hospital, which has not mandated a vaccine for its employees, is not using the media to tell the story of rationing care, like Providence is doing.

The New York Times went on to describe what happened to Providence medical staff when they waded into the political arena by asking the Anchorage Assembly last week to mandate masks for everyone in the city over the age of 2. They were met with open hostility.

Read: Medical theater as doctors and nurses come to Anchorage Assembly with mask plea

“When the Anchorage Assembly considered a mask mandate last week, some of the doctors who came to speak were jeered at. “Do you use ivermectin?” someone in the crowd shouted, referring to a deworming medicine that has been touted as a Covid-19 treatment on social media even as the Food and Drug Administration has warned people against taking it,” the Times wrote. Ivermectin has been used for decades to treat parasites and is now successfully used in other countries to help open up the airways of those who have become infected with Covid. But the American medical establishment appears to be firmly against the drug, which is relatively cheap and has had millions using it successfully in India.

“As a group of doctors left the meeting, one person followed them outside, heckling. “You guys have sold out and are liars,” he shouted. Others outside holding signs — “Liberty or Tyranny,” one of them said — also mocked the physicians,” the newspaper wrote, illustrating the very difficult position Providence has put itself in by stepping into what is a political battle at the Assembly.

That event was coordinated by one of the local unions in collaboration with Assemblyman Forrest Dunbar, who stepped down from the dais before the meeting to advise the group on testimony.

Read the New York Times story at this link.

Now, it appears the pro-mask advocates are taking their stories to the national media, which is only telling their views, at the exclusion of others.

The Anchorage hospital has had over a year and a half to prepare for a surge in the infectious disease and to develop treatment protocols, but instead, some residents claim, are sending people home with no treatment options until their lips turn blue from lack of oxygen, after which they can be admitted to the hospital to face a very uncertain outcome.

Read Anchorage Assembly hears overwhelming testimony against Meg’s Mask Decree

54 COMMENTS

  1. The owners of 30 of the world’s 38 minerals seem to be quite well represented among the dead from covid. Also they are earnestly and completely va..ed. So around the world some sophisticates think it would be more culturally comfortable for themselves and their ollie ilk who are so polished and well mannered if the earthy people of Alaska’s lands would just…transcend their mortal coil. Yeah. I’ve noticed this.

  2. Once thought a conspiracy theory as far back as the initiation of Obamacare now proves to be true, death panels that determines who lives and who dies. The left laughed then calling the right crazy.
    .
    “In recent weeks, a triage team of doctors at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage have been using a formula to score patients on their potential for dying and consulting with an ethicist on the decisions they make. The patients include those sick with Covid-19 and with other ailments,” the Journal wrote.

    • Critical care Intensivist is the term of one who makes decisions on whether you get treatment or not. Their power usurps the doctors. Yes, Obama care is alive and well…

  3. Suzanne, how are the NYT and WSJ getting away with lying? Have you or anyone else pointed out that their stories are untrue?

  4. I don’t know how the NYT and WSJ are getting away with the outright lies. There needs to be an investigation on the Providence doctor(s) who are feeding this lie, and they need to be sanctioned.

  5. Providence is making money hand over fist through this “pandemic”. The more this lasts, the more power and money they gather. Employees at Providence should schedule a walkout over how the hospital has purposefully mishandled this and intentionally murdered as many covid patients that they can.

    There is no way to vote out of this and Dunleavy needs to speak up and point out how the democrats at Providence are lying and using their shrinking national media megaphone to spread fear through their lies.

    Anonymous doctors and nurses speaking truths don’t really help. We need ICU nurses and doctors to start organizing and coming out publicly against this. The assembly floor could be a great arena for this.

    • Dunleavy?!? Hahahaha. Dunleavy is too busy hiding under a rock. Dunleavy is a spineless, gutless individual. We need real leaders to emerge.

    • Dunleavy? Speak out? Stand tall?

      You must be drinking if you think our useless toad of a governor is gonna do anything.

    • Dunleavy needs to sign an EO to prevent private employers, all state agencies/buildings and schools from mandating “vaccines” and masks.
      Keep in mind OSHA purposefully does not collect and report data on deaths and adverse effects from the vaccines, and the medical industry has been paid off like prostitutes to promote and market the pharma products.
      What is known from data published in the United Kingdom, 63% of all hospital deaths in the past 7 1/2 months of SARS-CoV-2 are fully “vaccinated”, 28% from non-“vaccinated”.
      There are 15,000 deaths reported attributed to the “vaccine” use worldwide at an estimated 1% reporting rate, indicating approximately 1,500,000 deaths is not unreasonable. These are deaths within two days of being injected with the chemical/genetic therapy drugs, for which ingredients are unknown (proprietary despite multiple patents issued). In perspective, when 40 deaths are attributed to a trial “vaccine” the trials are immediately ended. Deaths from all the various vaccines in a typical year are between 50 to 150. The long term effects, over 10-15 years are unknowable. Blood clots are extremely common.
      What is Dunleavy waiting for and who is he afraid of or paid off by? With a Republican like Dunleavy, who needs Democrats?

        • Providence, has become a fascist state company by definition. The amalgamation of private “ownership” with massive government funding and directives is the economic basis of a fascist state. Individual liberty is being trampled, in the case of mandating toxic injections as a term of employment is destroying essential medical care in our state. So yes, I am “for” the Governor overriding forcing medical employees (the same people that were “heroes” a year ago) from choosing between compromising their life and health over continuing on their careers and serving the ill and injured among us.

          • Definitely a stretch to call a non-profit hospital “a fascist state company”, but hey whatever suits your fancy. I’m not sure how you can reconcile demanding government mandate, when it serves your beliefs, but not mandate when it serves another’s. Seems rather fascistic to me…

        • Steve, one cannot write a law that “forces” freedom on anyone. In this case, an EO from Done-Already would only foster freedom by refusing to allow corporations (which are in reality quasi-governmental entities) to REMOVE freedom from their employees.

          • Jeff,
            Who’s writing a law forcing freedom? Laws are written by the legislature.
            Brian Simpson is demanding that the governor do Brian Simpsons bidding, which is to issue an Emergency Order mandating private business do exactly what the government tells them to do.
            .
            Just to recap, Brian Simpson demands the executive of the state order private business to follow what he says. Doesn’t that sound fascistic to you?

  6. Good grief, here we go again. You guys remember the Ivermectin poisoning story the echo chamber media all re-printed without fact checking? Just do a cursorary search, see how many retractions you can find. If you find the New York Times retraction of their story, I’ll personally donate a years supply of Oxygen to Providence Hospital.
    .
    Search this term, if unfamiliar with the previous Pravda/Big Pharma scare tactic:
    ———————————-
    “The Media Fell for a Viral Hoax About Ivermectin Overdoses Straining Rural Hospitals”
    ———————————-

  7. Another example of how the mainstream media “stretching” the truth to further the left’s agenda!

  8. Premature death will continue to happen for as long as the people continue to entrust their healthcare to those who seek only to profit off the sick.

    Want to end this pandemic? Take your health into your own hands. I know, personal responsibility seems so very hard, but trust that when you take your power back, health will return to you in many more ways than just the physical.

  9. My cousin’s husband lost his father a couple weeks ago, he had a heart attack after being weakened by aggressive chemotherapy. Over a year ago, there were surgical options that potentially could have prevented the need for chemo, but keeping hospital beds open for a disease that has a 90% survival rate. Meanwhile, my same cousin’s 29 year old son has a cyst pressing on his brain, and precancerous thyroid tumor which should have both been operated on, but, you know, COVID-19. Her son has a 3 yr old son, and a 5 year old daughter that may not have a father, if this continues. How long are we going to play pretend, ignore people’s actual, urgent medical needs, and watch people die to assuage the mass hysteria that has taken hold of the world?

  10. Ms. Downey,
    Why do you quote doctors in your article but conveniently and systematically omit their names, without offering any explanation for these omissions?

      • Uh, usually it’s the whistler blower who fears retribution, not the employee reporting everything is hunky dory.

    • She says it in the article “Another doctor agreed. He, too, cannot be identified because of the risk of being ostracized.”

      • What a great reason to ostracize someone!
        They obviously can’t get involved in any debate as they likely only have their ideology as a defense-no wonder they can’t identify themselves (like the many on these pages who choose to shoot from the lip without their names).

        • Retribution is alive and well at Providence. You choosing not to believe it doesn’t make it any less true.

        • Doctors, nurses, CNAs, patient care techs, lab techs, etc., are very aware that if they don’t toe the line they will be in jeopardy of losing their jobs. It’s not their ideology that leads them to disagree with the narrative coming out of Prov’s leadership, it’s what they are seeing and experiencing every day. They know what’s up, and it’s not what you’re being told.

    • Here it is why! the doctors in this story cannot be identified. It’s where they work. It’s where they have to thread the needle with their criticism, trying to preserve their jobs, while advocating for better patient care.

    • It’s the same reason why you don’t write your last name even your first name ‘Catherine’ can be a pseudonym. You want to protect your identity.

    • Catherine,
      The article clearly states why their names aren’t used: the doctors don’t want their names used in order to protect their jobs and relationships at Providence.

    • Because it’s way easier to spin a story (more like a BLOG POST) the way you want it, when you don’t identify your sources so they cannot be fact-checked.

  11. So what happened to the emergency expansion center? Oh, too many staff fired to be able to operate it! Don’t mention that!

  12. It seems to me that a simple solution to Providence Hospital’s shortage of medical personnel would be to simply delay the implication their vaccine mandate on their employees until the crisis has passed. To be firing them at the height of the shortage makes no sense at all, unless you are looking for chaos

  13. We are the knights who say NYT to you… Thanks, Suzanne, for trying to tell the truth in a world full of lies. Deceit is the devil’s tool.

  14. So to be specific Providence is choosing those patients without a covid jab to die over those patients with it. Got it!

    There was a woman from Assembly’s Sept 30th meeting, she was telling what her friend witnessed to her while he is in the ANMC hospital. The extra remarks clearly ruffled up Perez-Verdia fur, and the body spent too much time deliberating what and how many questions a Member can ask testifiers.

  15. We’re not hearing anything on MSM about the likes of Dr Carrie Madje, Tenpenny, Zelenko and many, many others, not even about the Ivermectin success in India, instead we hear about the so called gut wrenching sob stories and gloom and doom pushed by MSM, it’s all one sided. 200,000 people reportedly died after getting vaxxed in one week and we didn’t hear about that either. Last night I turned on CBS news and the anchors talked about the new pills being formulated by the vaccine makers calling them a “game changer”, just like ivermectin and HCQ were initially called and suddenly demonized. Now there’s a push to get children vaxxed while the FDA approved a new blood clot med back in June, how convenient. If the left can’t see one iota of this then it’s pretty clear that they are dumb, I mean really, really dumb.

    • Fauci is already, just today, downplaying Merck’s newly announced therapeutic, saying, “it is no replacement for the vaccine.” Go figure, right………. Oh, and he’s teetering on cancelling Christmas, lol.

    • They are not dumb, they are evil, pure evil. They PLAY dumb, check BiteMe Biden.
      THEIR truth is only what suits them, not the ACTUAL truth.
      Whatever lies they have to tell us, whatever pieces of truth twisted to create a lie that the sheeple will believe. Hook, line and sunk.
      We must all stand strong, stand together, and fight against mandates that inflict harm on the citizens.
      Politicians are not doctors. Politicians have no rights to i pose mandates on my body.
      MY BODY, MY CHOICE.

  16. .LOOK IT UP

    BREAKING: AI-Powered DoD Data Analysis Program SHATTERS Official Vaccine Narrative, Shows A.D.E. Accelerating in Fully Vaccinated Each Week

  17. According to the article these unnamed doctors are in the Anchorage area, the article does not state that they work for Providence or even in a hospital setting, it does not say they work in the ICU’s or have intimate knowledge of the current conditions in ICU’s, it doesn’t say what kind of doctors these are…they could be medical doctors or doctors of dirt like Rep Snyder.

  18. Lots of comments here I don’t want to read. Suffice it to say, Providence and those docs are lying. I personally know that Alaska Regional is accepting patients when Prov is rejecting them. Why? Why is it all the talk about Prov and no one is talking about Alaska Regional. I was personally there on Wed, and the ER was empty. We were quickly received and admitted due to a dire physical situation, when Prov turned us away. Why won’t the news outlets see what is going on at AK Regional? I saw a channel 2 news camera man at Regional on Wed. Why was he there? Where are the stories?

  19. One might ponder if the good Dr. Floerchinger or Dr. Kamali had the Blessing of Providence to speak to the NYT WSJ press? You think? When I read that WSJ piece I wondered what Kamali did sign up for,`and also pondered how much money Providence has and why in Gods name they were not prepared with more hospital space and staff for the pandemic Fauci and Gates has been waiting for? Could it be the politicians the media and big health that are responsible for people dying?

  20. I understand why he has too keep his identity secret. I was part of a whistleblower group many years ago.

    It would have meant out careers if we’d been caught.

    However, at some point someone needs to put their name out there to give this the traction it needs to be effective

  21. Hmm… Alaska Regional isn’t mandating employees get the vaccine? They aren’t having to ration care? I think I know where I’ll spend my money and get my health care.

  22. Just an FYI unvaccinated patients are being denied treatment not due to triage but simply due to declining the vaccine. There was a staff member at Humana who saw this patient bleeding from coughing so hard with capillaries burst in their eyes, face and bleeding from their nose and coughing up blood. Yet they treated the patient as though the patient deserved this fate. The staff member who treated the patient, against direction of colleagues, bringing oxygen and starting an IV has succumbed to the pressures from the director and other hospital staff leading to a decision to submit a resignation request prior to being reprimanded or forcing a involuntary separation from employment from the position as a healthcare provider. The healthcare provider had made contact with the patient per the patient’s request. Hopefully there’s protection for whistleblowers because this is atrocious.

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