Cancer Patient Says Death Toll Doesn't Tell Full COVID-19 Story

He says he could be among many thousands of 'trickle down' victims
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 6, 2020 6:45 PM CDT
Cancer Patient Warns of 'Trickle Down' Pandemic Deaths
A police officer directs cars into a coronavirus testing facility at Georgia Tech Monday in Atlanta. The testing is by appointment only and requires a referral.   (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

As far as he knows, retired mechanical engineer Mike Miles does not have COVID-19. But he fears that the outbreak will end up killing him and many thousands of others whether they have been infected or not. The North Carolina grandfather writes in Politico that he was diagnosed with advanced bladder cancer last year and had been undergoing immunotherapy treatment. But last month, he was told that there weren't enough masks and gloves available to give vaccines to cancer patients—and after another biopsy came back positive, he was told that he should have his bladder, prostate, and part of his small intestine removed. He was told that if less invasive treatments failed, hospitals might be too overwhelmed by then for the surgery to happen, even if it was lifesaving.

Miles says he was preparing to leave for Duke University hospital last Monday when he was told that the hospital now requires patients to show coronavirus test results before surgery—but the hospital didn't have tests to give him, and his local hospital in Winston-Salem was only testing patients with serious symptoms. His surgery was canceled, and he doesn't know when it will happen. Miles says there are tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of "trickle down" cases like his. He says that when President Trump claims there are enough tests and protective equipment for everybody, "it's clear that he’s not listening to experts and scientists." He writes: "I'm not a political person. For the most part, I don’t care who is running the country, but I expect that in times of crisis that government uses its resources to take care of its citizens. And right now I don’t see that happening." Click for the full piece. (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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