"Death panels" arrive — in COVID-stricken, Republican Idaho

As the agency’s director, Dave Jeppesen, put it in announcing the order, “The situation is dire — we don’t have enough resources to adequately treat the patients in our hospitals, whether you are there for COVID-19 or a heart attack or because of a car accident.”

Jeppesen was not exaggerating the crisis. His agency reported that a record 678 patients were hospitalized with COVID-19 in Idaho as of Monday, including 173 in intensive care — and those almost certainly were undercounts. On Wednesday, the state said, only 12 adult ICU beds were staffed and available in the entire state…

Idaho’s crisis has spread to eastern Washington state, where hospitals are being asked to take in patients who can no longer be treated in Idaho. This has rather ticked off Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, who has overseen an anti-pandemic effort that gave his state one of the better records on fighting COVID-19.

“We certainly need our friends in Idaho government to do more to preserve their citizens’ health, because we know that their crisis is becoming our problem,” Inslee, said last week. “I’m asking the people of Idaho to adopt some of the safety measures — like masking requirements — like we have in Washington so we can help both of our states reduce this horrible pandemic.”