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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 4/14/20

Juan Gonza'lez: My 92-Year-Old Mother's COVID-19 Experience Shows Me How Rotten Our Health System Is

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As the United States leads the world in both reported COVID-19 cases and death toll, hospitals at other coronavirus hot spots around the country are reporting dire conditions as they deal with a surge in critically sick patients. "We have to ask ourselves why, in a country that spends so much money on healthcare, are we still having problems producing the most basic equipment, [such as masks, gowns and tests]," says Democracy Now! co-host, Juan Gonza'lez, who describes how he struggled to get his own 92-year-old mother tested when he took her to the emergency room in New Jersey. "It is just an outrage that this discontinues to bedevil a country as wealthy as ours. And I really believe it's part of this whole situation of this neoliberal view of how to run the market."


This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!,, The War and Peace Report. I'm Amy Goodman in New York, the epicenter of the pandemic in the world, but we begin today's show in New Jersey, one of the hardest-hit states from the pandemic, only second to New York, with nearly 65,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and just under 2,500 deaths. The state's Democratic Governor Phil Murphy said his state is trying to stay ahead of the need for hospital beds and equipment. On CNN's State of the Union, Governor Murphy said, quote, "The house is on fire. We've got to put the fire on the house out. Then we've got to begin to get back on our feet. And then, at that point, we have to look back and say what could we have done differently."

Well, for more, we're joined from New Jersey by my co-host Juan Gonza'lez, who's joining us from his home in New Brunswick.

Juan, how are you and your family doing?

JUAN GONZÃ LEZ: Well, Amy, first of all, welcome to all of our listeners and viewers across the country and around the world.

But this has now hit directly home in the last week or so. First, my 92-year-old mother got sick last week. Her caregiver in New York City, where she lived, was felled and had a high fever and had to quarantine, and therefore she was left alone. My wife and I had to, clearly, go to the Bronx, get her and bring her here to New Brunswick, because she had no one else to care for her. And she had no fever, though, but she had intense abdominal pains. And we tried to see if we could deal with her and treat her here for several days, and ended up having to go to the emergency room Sunday. She was hospitalized. Only when they hospitalized her and they did a COVID test did she turn out to be positive. So she is now in the hospital dealing with the COVID.

And meanwhile, here, then, yesterday, my wife came down sick, and now she is extremely weak. And again, she does not have fever, either, but it's clear that something has affected her, even as we were trying to deal with my mother. And so, it's become much more direct here, not just reporting on it, but trying to deal with it. And, of course, throughout Central New Jersey, as much of the rest of the East Coast, there are thousands of people trying to figure out, without testing, because they don't test you unless they actually admit you to the hospital, and --

AMY GOODMAN: Juan, if you could actually stop there for a second, because when you brought your mother to the hospital and to say you brought her to the hospital means you brought her to a tent outside the hospital, where you had to leave your 92-year-old mother, right? Because you and your wife could not --

JUAN GONZÃ LEZ: Right, no one is allowed in. No one is allowed in. So, you basically --

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Democracy Now!  is a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program hosted by journalists Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez. Pioneering the largest public media collaboration in the U.S., Democracy Now! is broadcast on (more...)
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