Idaho hospitals crushed by COVID-19 surge

Idaho hit a grim COVID-19 trifecta this week, reaching record numbers of emergency room visits, hospitalizations and ICU patients.

Medical experts say the deeply conservative state will likely see 30,000 new infections a week by mid-September. With a critical shortage of hospital beds and staff and one of the nation’s lowest vaccination rates, Idaho health providers are growing desperate and preparing to follow crisis standards of care, which call for giving scarce resources to patients most likely to survive.

Republican Gov. Brad Little urged residents this week to show love for their neighbors by getting vaccinated and announced he was using federal programs and mobilizing the Idaho National Guard to bring in hundreds of additional health care workers. In response, Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin called the statement “shameful.”

McGeachin, who is running against Little in the Republican gubernatorial primary and has tried to bar schools and cities from enacting mask rules, said people should make their “own health choices.” (AP)

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