MSNBC
MSNBC 21 May 2020

Alabama's Reopen Ambitions Strain City's Hospital Resources

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Mayor Steven Reed of Montgomery, Alabama, talks with Rachel Maddow about how the state's growing number of cases is pushing his city's hospital resources to the limit even as the state continues to reopen. Aired on 5/21/2020.


Dr. Cedric Dark, emergency medicine physician in Houston, Texas, talks with Rachel Maddow about how the surge in coronavirus cases in the Houston area is putting a strain on hospital resources. Aired on 6/26/2020.
Rachel Maddow looks at Alabama as an example of a place not usually in the spotlight of American national media but informing a key part of the national coronavirus story as a surge in cases puts a strain on hospital resources. Aired on 5/27/2020.
The fight against COVID-19 in the most overwhelmed areas of the United States, put a huge strain on the resources of hospitals in the country's poorest areas.  

Roseland Community Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, was already tending to a community plagued with a myriad of poverty-related diseases, like asthma, obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.   

The hospital was almost at full capacity before the arrival of COVID-19. The peak of the pandemic found Roseland Community Hospital overcrowded, underfunded and understaffed.  

Correspondent Dan Williams got exclusive access to the hospital and healthcare workers on the frontline of the COVID-19 fight in one of Chicago's poorest areas.    

  
In a livestream in which she answered constituent questions, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez talked about potential school reopenings, the strains on small business, and the need for PPE.

… show captions ↓
HAPPENED HERE OVER THE LAST FEW
WEEKS SINCE WE REOPENED THE
ECONOMY.
>> NOW, THE REOPENING IS NOT
SOMETHING THAT IS A FAIT
ACCOMPLI.
IT CONTINUES, AND THE GOVERNOR
CONTINUES TO MAKE THESE
ANNOUNCEMENTS.
I MEAN IT WAS YESTERDAY THAT YOU
GAVE THAT STARK WARNING ABOUT
THE ICUs IN YOUR CITY
ESSENTIALLY BEING FULL AND NEEDS
TO OFF-LOAD PATIENTS TO
BIRMINGHAM.
AND THEN IT WAS TODAY THAT
GOVERNOR IVEY FURTHER RELAXED
RESTRICTIONS IN THE STATE FOR
THEATERS AND SUMMER CAMPS AND
SCHOOLS AND ATHLETIC ACTIVITIES.
I HAVE TO THINK THAT THOSE
STATEWIDE DECISIONS THAT THE
GOVERNOR IS MAKING, THEY DON’T
REALLY SEEM TO MATCH UP WITH THE
EXPERIENCE IN MONTGOMERY BOTH IN
TERMS OF THE NUMBER OF CASES
YOU’VE GOT BUT HOW TAXED YOUR
RESOURCES ALREADY ARE IN TERMS
OF WHETHER YOU CAN HANDLE MORE
CASES.
IT SEEMS LIKE THERE’S A REAL
DISCONNECT THERE.
>> WELL, I THINK THERE IS.
YOU KNOW, WE’VE HAD DIFFERENT
HOT SPOTS AROUND THE STATE OVER
THE LAST COUPLE OF MONTHS, AND
RIGHT NOW IN MONTGOMERY, WE’RE
AT A POINT WHERE WE CAN SEE THE
CLIFF, AND WE DON’T WANT TO GET
TOO CLOSE TO IT FOR FEAR OF
FALLING OFF.
AND THAT’S WHY WE SOUNDED THE
ALARM YESTERDAY LEADING UP TO
THIS MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND.
AND I THINK WHEN YOU LOOK AT
MONTGOMERY, WE’VE TESTED LESS
THAN 4% OF OUR POPULATION.
WE’VE DOUBLED OUR CASES MONTH
OVER MONTH.
WE’VE HAD WEEK TO WEEK INCREASES
OF OVER 40% THIS MONTH ALONE.
WE’RE IN A VERY DANGEROUS
PREDICAMENT, AND I THINK PARTS
OF THE STATE MAY BE DOING A
LITTLE BETTER FOR NOW, BUT I
DON’T THINK THAT THE ECONOMY
SHOULD HAVE BEEN OPENED AT THE
TIME THAT IT WAS.
I THINK THAT WE SHOULD HAVE
SLOWED OUR REOPENING AND DONE
SOME THINGS A LITTLE BIT
DIFFERENTLY BECAUSE WHAT I THINK
IT HAS DONE, IT HAS SENT A
MESSAGE THAT THE BATTLE WITH
COVID-19 IS OVER AND IT HAS BEEN
WON, AND WE’RE STILL IN THIS
BATTLE.
AND WE CAN’T AFFORD TO RELAX NOW
AND LOSE MUCH OF THE PROGRESS
THAT WE’VE MADE OVER THESE LAST
FEW WEEKS.
AND MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT.
OUR FIRST RESPONDERS, OUR
MEDICAL PERSONNEL, OUR FRONTLINE
WORKERS, THEY’VE DONE A GREAT
JOB.
MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY HAVE
STEPPED UP TO DO THINGS OVER AND
BEYOND TO HELP THEIR NEIGHBORS
AND TO HELP THEIR FAMILY AND
JUST TO HELP OUT IN ANY WAY THEY
CAN.
BUT IT DOESN’T HELP US IF WE’RE
DOING THOSE THINGS ONLY FOR US
TO TAKE TWO STEPS BACK BY
PREMATURELY TRYING TO GET BACK
TO OUR NORMAL ROUTINES OF WHAT
WAS NORMAL PRIOR TO THIS
PANDEMIC.
>> STEVEN REED, MAYOR OF THE
GREAT CITY OF MONTGOMERY,
ALABAMA.
SIR, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR
TAKING TIME FOR US TONIGHT.
WE’RE GOING TO BE CHECKING IN
WITH HOSPITALS IN YOUR CITY.
WE’LL DO OUR BEST TO STAY ON
THIS STORY AS YOUR CITY
CONTINUES TO STRUGGLE WITH THESE
REAL HIGH CASE NUMBERS.
BUT PLEASE KEEP US APPRISED IF
THERE ARE THINGS YOU FEEL LIKE
THE COUNTRY NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT
WHAT YOU’RE GOING THROUGH.
WE’D LOVE TO HELP YOU GET THE
WORD OUT, SIR.
THANK YOU.
>> THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.
>> ALL RIGHT.
I WILL SAY, YOU KNOW, THERE’S
BEEN A LOT OF HAPPY TALK ABOUT
THE COURSE OF THE EPIDEMIC FROM
THE VERY BEGINNING, FROM THE
VERY TOP, WHICH DELAYED OUR
INITIAL RESPONSE, WHICH LIKELY
COST TENS OF THOUSANDS OF LIVES
IN AMERICA.
WE’LL BE TALKING ABOUT THAT MORE
LATER ON THIS HOUR.
BUT PART OF THE HAPPY TALK THAT
WE’RE GETTING RIGHT NOW,
PARTICULARLY ON THE POLITICAL
RIGHT, IS THAT, LOOK, THE
REOPENING’S HAPPENING AND
EVERYTHING’S FINE.
EVERYTHING’S FINE.
WELL, FIRST OF ALL, WHEN PEOPLE
GET EXPOSED, IT TAKES A COUPLE
OF WEEKS FOR IT TO TURN UP IN
TERMS OF PEOPLE GETTING TESTED,
HAVING POSITIVE RESULTS, AND
TURNING UP IN THE HOSPITAL AND
ULTIMATELY TURNING UP CRITICALLY
ILL.
AND SO ALL THE PREMATURE
CELEBRATION ABOUT LOOK HOW GREAT
THE OPENING UP IS, IS IGNORANT.
BUT THIS IDEA THAT IT’S JUST A
THEORETICAL THAT OUR HEALTH CARE
SYSTEMS WILL BE OVERTAXED OR
WILL COME TO CAPACITY AS
REOPENING FUELS A SURGE IN MORE
CASES, IT’S NOT A HYPOTHETICAL.
IT’S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW IN

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