WASHINGTON — Sen. John Barrasso, (R)-Wyoming, has joined forces with more than 600 physicians to warn President Donald Trump of the potentially “disastrous” effects should the current shutdown of America be permitted to continue much longer.
Barrasso, himself a physician, wrote in a column posted to Fox News on Tuesday that he agreed with his fellow physicians that the shutdown must end “smartly, safely and soon.”
“These medical professionals want the country to reopen as soon as possible, calling the shutdown a “mass casualty incident” with “exponentially growing health consequences,” Barrasso wrote. “I am a doctor as well as a U.S. senator, and I agree.”
“We cannot allow the cure to be worse than the disease,” Barrasso warned. “We closed down our country in order to bend the curve and make sure we had adequate medical resources. We have accomplished that goal in many places across America. We need to open smartly, safely and soon. The health of the nation depends upon it.”
“As a result of the lockdowns, people have been forced to postpone important diagnostic and preventative medical procedures,” Barrasso continued. Patients continue to put off doctor visits that could detect life-threatening problems like cancer and heart disease. Many hospital emergency rooms have been eerily empty as patients stayed away if their symptoms were unrelated to coronavirus.”
Barasso went on to express his concern regarding the ongoing mental health impacts of a continued shutdown and of the ongoing risks toward abused women and children.
“National headlines call attention to a deepening crisis in mental health care. Loneliness, family upheaval and financial pressures can increase stress, anxiety and unhealthy behavior. A San Francisco-area trauma center reports a year’s worth of suicide attempts in just the past four weeks,” Barasso advised. “The risk of abuse goes up. This includes spouse abuse, child abuse and substance abuse. It is all going on today behind closed doors all across our country, Pediatricians worry that since children are not in school or day care, a significant numbers cases of child abuse are not being detected or reported.”
“The point is clear,” Barasso asserted. “Keeping states shut down will wreak havoc on the health of our society.”