Headlines this weekend screamed “Record-high COVID-19 caseload at Sacramento hospitals as coronavirus surge worsens.” That was a Sacramento Bee headline, blaming “people gathering indoors at Thanksgiving and other holiday events,” only one day after Thanksgiving.
“Sacramento hospitals reported a record-high number of COVID-19 patients on Saturday, the result of a resurgent pandemic this fall that is putting the health care system under unprecedented strain, particularly in intensive care units where beds, doctors and nurses are in short supply,” the Bee reports.
However, UC Davis Health officials reported in that same article, “right now, almost all of our hospital space is needed for non-COVID health care needs,” and “Only 5% of the Sacramento medical center’s patients are being treated for COVID-19.”
So which is it – is there a surge in COVID illnesses, or not?
“In total, 284 capital region residents are being treated in Sacramento County hospitals for the coronavirus, topping the previous high of 281 in July. The patient numbers represent a dramatic increase from just 74 patients six weeks ago, and foreshadow more crowding to come,” the Bee reports.
“In discussing the deadliness of COVID, we need to distinguish COVID cases from COVID infections,” Dr. Jay Bhattacharya said, California Globe reported last week. “A lot of fear and confusion has resulted from failing to understand the difference.”
The Bee reports that across the six-county Sacramento region, 469 patients were in hospitals with confirmed virus cases as of Saturday’s update. The entire region is apparently needed to make the numbers sound bad.
In Sacramento County, 263 COVID patients are hospitalized, and 50 are in the ICU – in seven different hospitals, including UC Davis Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente, Mercy General, and Sutter.
Sacramento County, the most populated of the six-county region with more than 1.5 million residents, has just half of the total regional COVID cases.
Currently, the state reports:
- it has issued 23,573,182 total COVID tests given to Californians
- there are 1,183,320 “cases” of COVID
- there have been 19,089 total deaths attributed to COVID
What they don’t report is that of the 23,573,182 total statewide COVID tests, 22,389,862 Californians tested negative – more than half of the state’s population.
And remember Dr. Jay Bhattacharya’s admonishment: “In discussing the deadliness of COVID, we need to distinguish COVID cases from COVID infections.”
As the Globe recently reported, there are 74,180 total hospital beds in the state, according to the California Department of Public Health. The state COVID dashboard shows 7,684 patients hospitalized in California for COVID-19.
There are more than 439 hospitals in California, and more than 10,000 health care facilities. Are we expected to believe that Gov. Newsom is locking down the state over concerns that hospitals may be overwhelmed?
We’ve seen that movie – more than eight months ago we were told to lockdown and shelter-in-place for 14 days to guarantee that the curve of ill patients would flatten and hospitals wouldn’t be overwhelmed.
And they weren’t – not even close. In fact, it was a ridiculous overreaction. And while the governor, public health officials and the media continue to instill fear in the state’s residents, never during that 8 months have hospitals or health care facilities been overwhelmed.
The Bee worked very hard to find the worst case scenario to bolster their deceitful article title:
“UC Davis’ Cohen also noted that, at his medical center, ‘it seems like the ratios of people who are hospitalized in the ICUs versus the people who are hospitalized on regular floor beds seems to be a little bit lower, so there was a higher percentage of patients who were in critical care units (in the spring), though that may also reflect changing demographics of the coronavirus pandemic.’”
The Bee appears frustrated with the news that there are fewer people currently in critical care units than last Spring.
This is how the Bee reports:
STATE SURGE CONTINUES
“As of Saturday, the death toll across the state from COVID-19 had surpassed another bleak milestone with more than 19,000 deaths reported. In total, California now has 1,183,320 confirmed cases, the highest of any state in the U.S.” (California also is home to 40 million residents, the highest number of any state in the U.S.)
“Those numbers may be slightly lower than the true totals, partly because some counties have not reported new cases during Thanksgiving weekend, and because some test result reports may be delayed.” (Thanksgiving weekend has nothing to with cases reported – 14 days has to pass before those numbers will be calculated)
When comparing California’s “cases” with the 49 other states, the Bee totally gets it wrong when they say the Golden State has the the highest of any state in the U.S.”
California with a population of 39,512,223, reports 1,206,278 “cases,” which is a 3.05 % positivity rate – in the bottom quarter of the entire United States.
Texas, which has nearly 29 million residents, has 1,234,675 “cases,” which is a 4.26% positivity rate.
Governor Gavin Newsom, and most county public health officials, are manipulating the data and numbers, and clearly are trying to keep Californians scared so the draconian lockdowns will not be questioned.
Otherwise, why would the Bee have buried the lede at the end of their article:
“UC Davis Health officials called the current caseloads manageable, in a statement to The Bee. Only 5% of the Sacramento medical center’s patients are being treated for COVID-19.
“UC Davis Health remains well prepared, with its clinical teams continuing to provide very effective patient care. The increases we’re seeing in COVID-19 case are manageable.
“Our facility is flexible, so we can increase COVID-dedicated space and ICU capacity if we need to do so. But right now, almost all of our hospital space is needed for non-COVID health care needs.”
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