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Hurricanes and COVID: Republicans' hostility to science causes existential emergencies to collide

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It is an understatement to say there is a lot going on right now. The two biggest stories over the weekend were the winding up of the dangerous airlift out of Afghanistan and the arrival of an epic hurricane hitting the Gulf Coast on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

Now is a dangerous time — but judging from the news coverage, I don't think we've fully grasped just how much danger Americans are actually in.

In a number of states, this latest COVID-19 surge, driven by the lethal Delta variant, has now surpassed the deadly surge of last winter. In two hard-hit states, the massive hurricane is coinciding with an equally massive surge in hospitalizations, making for an extremely volatile situation.

According to LAIlluminator, which covers Louisiana state and local government, hospitals have been at capacity for weeks, as have all the other hospitals throughout the region, causing the authorities to make the frightening decision not to evacuate patients. There was nowhere for them to go. Temporary shelters had to be kept at lower numbers because of the COVID risk and nursing homes residents who would normally be transferred to hospitals due to serious medical conditions were told to shelter in place.

The Illuminator reports that while Louisiana has had a rough go with this round of COVID, it was thought to be turning the corner last week. On Friday COVID hospitalization was below 2,700. That is 300 fewer than the week before but the positivity rate is still very high and people not able to follow precautions during the emergency will cause more of the virus to circulate, likely leading to another surge. Nobody knows what will happen to the inevitable victims of injuries and accidents in the aftermath.

Louisiana's Democratic governor, John........

© Salon

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