RUSH: This is Justin in Pittsburgh. It’s great to have you, Justin. How are you doing, sir?
CALLER: (garbled cell connection) Rush, mega dittos and ultramega prayers to you from my father-in-law. (Unintelligible).
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: We love you. The movement to open the country, Rush, you’re gonna have to lead on this, ’cause the Dems won’t and the doctors can’t, and I’ll tell you why because they… For better or worse, they will sit on the sidelines and wait to call foul. They don’t want to lead on this because it will be hard, it will get tough, the first economy gets open any degree, the bets are off. So Republicans better step up, because of that Monday morning quarterbacking on this thing which would be brutal.
RUSH: Well, yeah, I think the first corona death — and it will be marked where the person will be a hero. The media’s gonna find out who it is and that person will be forever linked in coverage with Donald Trump. And that person’s death will be chalked up as unnecessary, that that person probably wouldn’t have died if we hadn’t reopened the economy.
Oh, yeah, you’re right. That’s exactly right — and then the entire Republican Party will be blamed, and they’re setting up to attack Governor Kemp in Georgia on the same basis. But, you know, your point is… The first point you made in the call is that, if this is gonna get done, we’re gonna have to do it.
Because, if you leave it up to people in the Democrat Party or who have interests in the Democrat Party and the American left — if you leave it up to the administrative state and health officials — we’re never gonna open. They won’t take the plunge for the very reason they don’t want anything coming back to them.
By definition, they are not risk-takers, and they’re not gonna take the risk. It’s safer for them to condemn reopening and to warn about the pitfalls, because everybody knows the deaths are gonna continue to happen after we reopen. So it’s gonna be up to people to do it themselves.
RUSH: This is another thing. Governor Kemp touched on it in Georgia. They shut down all hospital activity — elective surgeries and hospitalizations for things that had nothing to do with the coronavirus — because they were told that until they flatten the curve, we had to do nothing. We had to flatten the curve, keep people home, shut everything down, make sure we didn’t overrun our hospitals with COVID-19 patients.
And outside of New York, that didn’t happen — and even in New York, they ended up not using all the beds at the Javits Center temporary hospital. They didn’t use the field hospital in Central Park. And the ship that Trump sent up there… I get these two things confused, the Mercy or whatever. The one that went to New York, it was originally to handle the overload, non-COVID-19 patients.
They got 1,000 beds on that ship, and at the most that were occupied at any one time was 20. So they retooled that ship, the Navy ship, to handle COVID-19 overflow; that didn’t happen. So the governor of Georgia is saying, “We’ve got hospitals in my state that are losing money because they were prepared for an overrun of COVID-19 which didn’t happen.”
They turned away other hospitalized or hospitalization necessities because they were told that there was gonna be a massive need for hospital rooms based on COVID-19 that didn’t happen. So now he says, “We’ve gotta get…” (chuckling) Now, imagine the irony of this. “We need to get these hospitals up and running,” which is, “We need sick people. We need sick people with stuff other than coronavirus who need to go to the hospital because we’re losing money.”
(interruption) It was the Comfort ship. Yeah. That went to New York City. The Navy ship. There are two of them, the Mercy and the Comfort. Anyway, stop and think of that — and it’s one of the bases for which Governor Kemp says, “Look, we did what they said. We flattened the curve. We flattened the curve. We kept everybody home.
“We kept the number of infections down, the number of reported cases down to handle the overload of COVID-19 cases in the hospitals. They never materialized.” That’s not only true in Georgia. There’s a lot of hospitals across the country that lost a lot of money, because they had been turning away patients they would otherwise see.
This is Carrie in Greenville, South Carolina. Hey, great to have you. I’m glad you waited. Hi.
CALLER: Hey, Rush. Mega dittos, mega prayers. I’m so excited to speak to you. I listened to you since high school and I’m now 46. So I’m a huge fan.
RUSH: Thank you. Thank you very much.
CALLER: You’re welcome. Getting to the point, you talked about hospitals losing money for not seeing patients. But there’s actually people that I believe are losing their lives because of this. My cousin’s 22-year-old son, he went to the hospital in Detroit, and he has brittle diabetes. They sent him home that same day. He was found in his apartment with his discharge papers still clutched in his hands, dead —
RUSH: Ah, I’m sorry.
CALLER: — because they are not only still leaving beds open. They don’t want to keep people who are non-COVID. They want to keep those beds saved. Detroit laid off 400 employees from their hospital. So they’re not overrun. Here in South Carolina we’ve laid off thousands and thousands of employees. People are waiting to get gall bladders removed.
We’re not doing testing for things like melanoma and stuff, early detection tests. So the cost of lives for non-COVID people, are we even gonna see that anywhere? Looking at New York City, how many homeless people are gonna be dead that they’re counting as at-home deaths that they added to their numbers, because homeless people were forced out of shelters? Did they die of exposure in the subways? Elderly people and old folks, in assisted-living homes in New York —
RUSH: Let me play devil’s advocate for a moment. Let’s pretend that we run a hospital, any hospital. Take your pick. You run a hospital in Detroit, let’s say, or you run a hospital in Greenville. And then the coronavirus hits. And you turn on the television every day. And there you’ve got the coronavirus briefing, and you are told horror stories about the coming number of infections.
“We need to flatten the curve!” All these things that these hospitals were told, they were told by people they intimately respect. They were told by CDC people, National Institutes of Health people, Health and Human Services people. Every one of them was told, “You better get ready because you haven’t seen anything yet.
“We’re gonna have this disease is spreading, it’s more contagious, more virulent. Oh, we don’t have any idea, and you need to be keep your hospitals available for COVID-19 patients.” They believed it. I mean, you can’t blame them! They were told. They were warned by people they respected and trusted that the apocalypse was about to descend upon them, and that they had to be patriotic and they had to be prepared.
They had to get ready for this, while everybody worked hard to flatten the curve — and, again, I want to remind everybody: Flattening the curve was not about reducing infections. It was not about reducing the spread of the virus. That’s not what flattening the curve was. Flattening the curve was delaying infections and preventing mass infections that hospitals couldn’t handle.
That’s why we’ve been staying home. That’s why everything’s been locked down is to protect and make sure that hospitals were not overrun. Well, now the hospitals weren’t overrun. That’s why they’re now — all of a sudden today and yesterday — saying, “Don’t get comfortable! A second wave is coming in the fall! It’s gonna be even worse than this one was, because it’s gonna happen at the same time as the flu.”
I just saw some guy in a white lab coat warning everybody about this on CNN. So even though their projections and predictions for what was gonna happen to hospitals in the last two months didn’t happen, it doesn’t matter. They’re warning everybody it’s gonna be even worse once we get to September and October.
Now, the point about other people dying because they can’t get into hospitals because the hospitals were not treating anything other than COVID-19? I’ve seen those stories like you have reported here. And like you, I have seen stories of nurses and other health care professionals and hospitals saying they’ve been laid off.
Because there isn’t enough work because the COVID-19 patients never materialize in the massive numbers that were forecast. I’ve seen those like you have — and, of course, “Those are anecdotal!” We can’t go by those stories. If they’re not officially reported from the CDC or from the NIH, then it’s just anecdotal.
“We have to be very, very careful ’cause anybody could write a column claiming they’re a nurse working at a hospital where a bunch of people are being laid off because there aren’t enough patients coming in.” So they have their story, and they are sticking to it. Look, folks, there was gonna be a breaking point. There has to be a breaking point — and we’re reaching it. Economically, we are being destroyed.
At the individual level, people are being ruined. People are being wiped out. Not because they’re losing in bloody competition and capitalistic free markets. No. They’re losing everything because they were ordered to shut down. We all were. And at some point people are just not going to sit there without fighting back against it. It’s kind of like tax increases. Government comes up with a massive new tax increase.
I’ll give you the greatest example I can think of. There are better ones probably if I thought about it longer. Bill Clinton takes office in 1993 and immediately comes up with a plan to make it look like he is going to limit the amount of money CEOs can be paid. CEOs are overpaid, they’re being paid way more than their workers, it isn’t fair. So Clinton comes up with an idea. He’s gonna limit the deductibility of CEO pay to $1 million. Meaning a company can only deduct, as a business expense, $1 million of the salary paid to the CEO.
The government thinks that these people are just gonna sit there and take it. They’re just gonna sit there and not try to find ways around it. Well, they didn’t just sit there in corporate America. They found a way around it, and you know what the way they found around it was? Stock options. Which people hate even more than CEO pay. So corporations decided, rather than just pay a straight salary to the CEO, that they would pay a million dollars or less in salary and the rest would be in bonuses and stock options. Which the tax writers had failed to include.
And you know what? The whole thing was a scam anyway. ‘Cause Bill Clinton was never actually gonna end up punishing CEOs. It was just done to make voters think the CEOs were gonna get stuck. They were gonna get theirs finally, gonna finally get away with screwing everybody else. It was all a PR show. So people are gonna innovate and find ways around it. You can’t just tell somebody that owns a business and put their life’s blood, sweat, and tears into it to stay home.
At some point they’re gonna go back to it. At some point they’re gonna try to revive it. At some point they’re gonna try to reopen it. No matter what the instructions on high — that is part of American DNA. We have not lived in totalitarian regimes where we obey and believe every command from government officials. We’re trending that way with way too many of our population. But the entrepreneur portion of the population is not gonna sit there and take it.
They’re gonna find ways around it. They’re gonna find ways to reopen. They’re gonna find ways to thwart this circumstance that is wiping them out. They’re not just gonna do that. And that’s what we’re seeing now. People are beginning to find ways to fight back against it. And they could sit up there all day long and talk about their social distancing and flattening the curve and all that. It’s gonna take second fiddle to eating. It’s gonna take second fiddle to providing for people’s families. It’s gonna take second fiddle to going bust and broke forever, having the credit rating destroyed and never being able to open another business. They’re not gonna sit there and just let this happen.
And that’s what we’re beginning to see now. That’s why these people are protesting. They’re not protesting ’cause Trump’s telling them to. They’re not protesting because I’m telling them to. They’re not protesting because they’re malcontents. They’re protesting because they’re sick and tired of having to deal with nonsensical policies which they don’t see as having much benefit anyway. Especially when they find out that flattening the curve has nothing to do with reducing the spread of the virus.
When they learn that, when they learn that flattening the curve was only done to handle this predicted, massive onslaught in the hospitals and then that massive onslaught doesn’t happen, and then they learn the computer models haven’t been right yet in predicting, then it’s only human nature what’s gonna happen. Look, I can’t deny this virus is killing people, it’s killing way too many. I mean, we’re up to 43,000 now and climbing. And those are real people that are passing away. And it’s really a tough balancing act. But it’s like I’ve said.
RUSH: Joe in Buffalo. Great to have you. I’m glad you waited, Joe. Welcome to the program.
CALLER: Thank you, Rush. I’m a longtime listener. Massive dittos. I’ve been listening to you since the fall of 1988. Can’t tell you how delighted I am to talk to you today. I’m a registered nurse. I work in a what’s turned out to be a COVID-19 center hospital — a suburban Buffalo, New York, hospital. I work in intensive care, so we have the sickest of them there. But when I left work Monday morning, we had 98 patients. They’re coming in constantly. Probably half are in indent care, which means they’re on ventilators. They’re on a ton of drugs —
RUSH: Wait. They’re all…? Wait, wait. Just understand here, Joe, all 98 are COVID-19 patients?
CALLER: Every one of them, Rush. Every one. Yeah, the only way in to this hospital is if you’re COVID positive and you’re from another hospital, then that’s how you get into our hospital; so yes, they are.
RUSH: Okay. So, 98, is that putting stress on your ICU approximate? Do you have room for that many?
CALLER: We’ve actually expanded. We used to have one ICU. Now we have four ICUs. We’ve turned the emergency department into an ICU. We’ve turned the surgical recovery area into an ICU and ambulatory surgery unit into also an ICU. Then we have medical floors as well. It has been beyond anything I could have ever imagined.
We have nurses from all over the country coming in. It’s what we call “travelers.” They come in and pick up a contract assignment, and it’s very intense. You’re in full isolation regalia the entire time you’re there just trying to defeat this. It’s just unbelievable, and yet we’re seeing… We had our 100th discharge one day last week. So we are seeing people get better, even people that are on ventilators, they are getting extubated and taken off the ventilators and recovering and going home. So —
RUSH: Just a sec. Just a sec. Just a sec. For those of you in Rio Linda, “extubated” means they’re pulling the tube out of the throat and they’re starting to breathe on their own.
CALLER: Exactly right, Rush.
RUSH: I need to make sure everybody understands when you start using these big medical terms.
CALLER: Okay. All right. Yeah. So it has been, you know, I’ve met people that I’ve worked in the hospital with and never even crossed paths, and now we’re working side by side. We’ve got, you know, as a critical care —
RUSH: Well, is the reason for your call to suggest that you’ve been overrun and the hospital as had trouble keeping up with it, or that you’ve done a great job keeping up with it and it’s serious, it’s kicking people’s butts and so forth, and that’s what you want people to know?
CALLER: It is kicking people’s butts. We are keeping up with it. And, you know, even with all that having been said, I would definitely favor having the economy open with a certain amount of safety measures in place because people not working is just no good. Eventually we’re gonna have to pay for all this, and it’s —
RUSH: Well, those people, I’ll tell you, as somebody that works in a hospital in ICU — look, I don’t want to put words in your mouth. But would it be logical to expect that as people’s livelihoods are denied them, as income is denied them, as their ability to provide for their families is denied them, as their ability to go to school, what kind of things are gonna happen to these people? It’s not normal to sit at home and do nothing with nothing, with no end in sight to it.
It’s gonna drive people crazy. It’s gonna make some people sick in their own right. It’s gonna cause psychological problems as well. It’s not as though people are just sitting around watching Netflix all day thinking, “Man, this is cool.” At some point people are gonna start questioning their self-worth if they don’t get up and do anything.
CALLER: Very true. Very true. Even us, my wife works at the same hospital so she’s in the same boat. And even we’re getting a little stir-crazy, and we get to go to work our regular shifts.
CALLER: You can’t go out for breakfast. You can’t go for a dinner and a drink. You’re just inside.
RUSH: Are you adequately protected, do you think, from these patients? Meaning, are you being given what you need equipment and clothing-wise to stay safe —
RUSH: — surrounded by people with the virus?
CALLER: Yes. Yes, we are. So far there’s plenty of the N95 that everyone’s heard about, they are collecting them now when you’re done with them, they’re trying to find a way that they could resterilize them so they could be reused. I hope it doesn’t come to that. But for the time being, yeah, we have plenty of personal protective equipment available.
RUSH: That’s good to hear. Well, I appreciate the call, Joe. Now, he’s in Buffalo. He said normally they’re equipped in their ICU for 40, and they’ve had to expand it by a factor of four but that they have. They’ve been able to accommodate and handle it. And that’s the thing. You know, in New York City I think, what is it, half of the nationwide deaths are in New York City, and then the second big factor is nursing homes. Nursing homes are suffering mass infections for obvious reasons. Well, anyway, Joe, I appreciate the call. He’s been out there since, he said, the fall of 1988. That makes him a lifer.