My patients can't take Trump's advice

Because social distancing naturally occurs in sparsely populated rural areas, we didn’t see the summertime surge of positive cases like Arizona, Texas and Florida did. But two weeks after our schools resumed in early September, we began to see a spike in Covid-19 cases among children and teenagers. As President Trump urged Americans not to let a highly contagious and lethal disease “dominate” our lives, their parents began showing up in my emergency room, gasping for air.

This is the terrible but predictable outcome after the most powerful man in the world told people to “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!” and “SCHOOLS MUST OPEN IN THE FALL!!!” even when we didn’t have enough masks, tests and contact tracers.

We still don’t. Eight months after the first Covid-19 case was reported in the United States, my hospital still has only a limited supply of N-95 masks and tests. And Michigan, like many states, is still fighting over mask requirements and crowd limits.

Now the patients I have come to know and love over the years are starting to feel the full impact of following a science-denier down the primrose path.