Massachusetts has recorded the lowest rate of CCP virus increase, however, authorities express concern that people under the lockdown have stopped visiting doctors and hospitals for other health issues.
“People aren’t stopping having heart attacks and strokes because of the pandemic,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said during a visit to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston on June 12.
Azar was joined by Gov. Charlie Baker on the tour. Baker said that the seven-day average positive test rate for the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus for the state decreased again to 3.4 percent—which according to him means an 88 percent reduction in the positive tests since April 15.
Azar said in the Boston area, colonoscopies, mammograms, and joint replacements decreased by 90 percent during the pandemic just because people “are not seeking needed medical care.”
Massachusetts’ response to #COVID19MA has been driven by our world class health care system, anchored by institutions like Beth Israel.
— Charlie Baker (@MassGovernor) June 12, 2020
Cardiac surgeries decreased by 70 percent and stroke hospitalizations went down by 58 percent and heart attack hospitalizations by 33 percent.
As the hospitals came under stress from the COVID-19 pandemic, non-essential hospital visits were stopped.
Phase 1 reopening last month allowed all emergency visits and the phase 2 opening allowed routine doctor’s office visits, dentist appointments, and vision care.
“We’ve got to balance the health risks of the virus against the health risks of forgoing all of this necessary medical care,” Azar said.
Federal Government’s Work on Vaccine
During his visit to Beth Israel, Azar said for the federal government to meet its early 2021 deadline for the CCP virus vaccine, it will have to pull “the inefficiency out” of various drug development timelines.
“President Trump was confronted by the drug companies’ timelines and found them to be unacceptable,” he said.
“Normally, the drug companies progress stage by stage with timed delays in between, then scale up manufacturing. What we’re doing is deploying the entire power and financial resources of the federal government to advance all those timelines—never compromising on the safety or efficacy, but rather reducing inefficiency.”
Azar said the Trump administration has set a goal of administering 300 million doses of vaccine by early 2021.
Azar and Baker also talked about the vaccine that Beth Israel has been working on with Johnson & Johnson.
“Provides a significant amount of optimism to all of us who are looking for both treatments and vaccines as a big part of how we—not only here in Massachusetts but around the country and across the globe—deal with COVID-19 as we go forward,” said Baker.