Raquel Rutledge and Guy Boulton, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
It’s a thought that has crossed many minds in recent weeks: What if I get sick with coronavirus and need to go to the emergency room?
Where should I go? Which hospital will treat me quickly, and will it have a ventilator if I need one?
With the peak surge estimated to be less than two weeks away, residents of Milwaukee and across Wisconsin have no way of knowing.
Hospitals and the state Department of Health Services have refused to release information about how many patients with COVID-19 each hospital has, how many patients are on ventilators and what each hospital's remaining capacity is for intensive care beds or the potentially lifesaving machines.
The lack of disclosure makes it impossible for the public to see the surge approaching in small neighborhoods or metropolitan areas. It also makes it difficult to spot disparities within communities.
“These are really important facts and figures that we need,” said Jaime Lucas, executive director of the Wisconsin Federation of Nurses & Health Professionals. “We have to know what’s available. We have to have some confidence in the system that is set up to care for us. I think we all deserve that.”
Specific hospital data from Milwaukee County could also help determine if critically ill patients will have to be transported to hospitals in Waukesha and Ozaukee counties — or farther — when the number of patients peaks.
Read more: https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/2020/04/10/coronavirus-hitting-wisconsin-hospitals-but-no-way-know-which-ones/5129987002/
Goddamn the government keeping important information from us. Someone needs to remind them that we are supposedly a free and open society. "Protecting" us from vital news is unconstitutional.