Ainsworth criticizes Alabama’s coronavirus prep — ‘Not taking a realistic view of the numbers or adequately preparing for what awaits us’
In a new memo first obtained by Alabama Political Reporter, Lieutenant Governor Will Ainsworth expressed his disapproval of the state’s readiness for what he believes will be a “tsunami” of coronavirus (COVID-19) patients in state hospitals.
The letter, which was dated on Wednesday, March 25, was addressed to the members of the Alabama COVID-19 Task Force that was assembled earlier in the year by Governor Kay Ivey.
“[I]t is my opinion that this task force and the state are not taking a realistic view of the numbers or adequately preparing for what awaits us,” Ainsworth wrote.
Ainsworth had personal praise for Governor Ivey’s assembling of the task force, as well as the hard work done by State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris.
Per the letter, the experts with whom Ainsworth has conferred have instilled in him a belief that Alabama has “substantially more cases than are being reported due to lack of testing.”
“Time is our enemy, and each moment that we lose by not preparing for the coming deluge will result in the loss of life and the crippling of our healthcare infrastructure,” added Ainsworth later in the document.
The lieutenant governor included a table of projected Alabama COVID-19 caseload in his letter. He said, “Using simple math and statistics, the most conservative data and real-time cases we are experiencing indicate Alabama could soon face the following scenarios beginning today:”
“A tsunami of hospital patients is likely to fall upon Alabama in the not too distant future, and it is my opinion that this task force and the state are not taking a realistic view of the numbers or adequately preparing for what awaits us,” he advised. “Every health specialist with whom I have spoken is anxious about surge capacity and has expressed doubts about our preparations.”
Ainsworth proposed that the state “should begin contacting family doctors and their staff” in order to address the staffing shortfalls he believes the coronavirus will cause.
“This is the kind of coordination and work that should have already been started on a statewide basis, but Alabama has not yet begun the process,” Ainsworth admonished the task force.
As part of his conclusion, he wrote, “No one will ever fault us for being over prepared for the worst case scenario, but blame will be well deserved if we chose to wait for whatever comes and do nothing to prepare.”
Read the full letter:
Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.