An internal memo authored by Our Lady of Lourdes interim chief medical officer Henry J. Kaufman was leaked yesterday, July 28, and began spreading like wildfire on social media.
Its warnings for parts of Louisiana were unsettling.
Now, the memo has been published online by Our Lady of Lourdes, which is based in Lafayette.
In the memo, he warns his staff that “the recent trajectory of our cases will deplete the medical resources of our community.”
Dr. Kaufman paints a portrait of an Acadiana that is facing a crisis that the community will not take seriously. “Where other places have allowed science and reason to guide their actions, the curve has been flattened,” the doctor wrote.
However, “here in our community, there has been much resistance to common sense measures,” Dr. Kaufman said. “[W]e are reaping the rewards of our obstinance.”
In Lafayette, residents are already suffering from the explosion in COVID rates. According to Dr. Kaufman, “surgeries of a time sensitive nature have been significantly delayed, putting patients at real risk.” There is no foreseeable end in sight to the surge, he added.
Dr. Kaufman also issued a warning to those who still doubt the severity of the virus in Acadiana. To those who believe the pandemic to be a politically-motivated hoax, he invited to tour the intensive care and COVID unit of the hospital.
“There you can see for yourself patients in their second, third and fourth decade of life with minimal or no comorbid conditions struggle to breathe[.]” Dr. Kaufman urges people to understand that the virus is not just affecting people with underlying conditions.
Today, Louisiana was first in the nation for COVID cases per capita. Governor Edwards has consistently warned the public that “Some of you may be done with COVID, but COVID is NOT done with Louisiana.”
Dr. Kaufman echoed this concern. “Were we an independent country [Louisiana] would place third in the world behind Qatar and French Guiana” for COVID cases per capita.
As federal stimulus funding has expired as of July 26, the situation has grown ever more dire. The Republican proposal to cut unemployment benefits to $200 a week provides no additional funding to states and municipalities, thereby making the decision to close Louisiana that more difficult. Without a funding source for the government and a safety net for those out of work, for policy makers, the proverbial cure seems to be worse than the disease.
But the actual disease is getting worse everyday.
To read the full text of the memo, click here.