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My opinion is that the US healthcare system is a crime. And this story doesn’t particularly change my opinion:

A Los Angeles boy who is believed to be the first teenager in the United States to die from complications due to Covid-19 was denied treatment at an urgent care clinic because he didn’t have health insurance.

“He didn’t have insurance, so they did not treat him,” says R Rex Parris, the mayor of Lancaster, California. “He had been sick for a few days, he had no previous health conditions. On the Friday before he died, he was healthy, he was socializing with his friends.”

Los Angeles County currently has 1,216 Covid-19 cases and 21 deaths, according to the county public health department’s website.

I can’t tell you how annoying this is. How desperately sad – it could be a sign of things to come.

In other virus news:

A single Kentucky representative may delay the $2.2tn government package. He’s getting ravaged from all directions.

Jeff Bezos, richest man in the world, is $5.5bn richer after selling stocks at suspiciously the right time:

Millions of people across the world have lost their jobs, and trillions of dollars have been wiped off the value of stock markets.

But, not everyone has lost out. Jeff Bezos, the world’s wealthiest person, is $5.5bn (£4.3bn) richer today than he was at the start of the year. His paper fortune, held mostly in Amazon shares, rose by $3.9bn on Thursday alone to $120bn – enough to buy 188,000 standard gold bars (even taking into account the soaring price of gold).

Dogs and cats have been confirmed to have caught the virus.

The UK chose not to work with the EU to procure extra ventilators and later says there was an email mix up… Meanwhile, Germany is helping Italy by taking some patients over to its hospitals with more capacity.

Boris Johnson, UK’s PM and Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary have been diagnosed with the virus; Prof Chris Witty, the government’s chief scientist, is self-isolating due to exhibiting symptoms.

Finally, for now, in what is arguably the most worrying turn of events, if it is the case:

There are reports of dramatic conditions at hospitals in the Alsace region, the epicentre of the Covid-19 epidemic in France.

According to a report by the German Institute for Disaster Medicine, compiled following a visit to the University Clinic in Strasbourg and seen by German news agency dpa, medics in the hard-hit region were no longer ventilating patients aged over 80 but were merely offering “terminal care” with opiates and barbiturates.

The report said the hospital in Strasbourg was facing a mass influx of new patients at an hourly rate and that medics were continuing to offer care even after they themselves had been infected with the virus.

The Strasbourg clinic on Friday rejected some of the details in the report, saying the overall condition of patients was crucial for prioritising access to ventilators, not age, and that the hospital had acquired new ventilators.

Brigitte Klinkert, the president of the French departement Haut-Rhin, confirmed that Alsace hospitals were forced to triage care, meaning some patients were prioritised because of a limited number of ventilators.

“We have already been practising triage for two weeks,” Klinkert told German newspaper Die Welt. “You can’t say it often enough, because it isn’t just the German neighbours but also the French outside Alsace who still aren’t taking the situation seriously.”


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A TIPPLING PHILOSOPHER Jonathan MS Pearce is a philosopher, author, columnist, and public speaker with an interest in writing about almost anything, from skepticism to science, politics, and morality,...

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