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Whereas determined sufferers packed into New York Metropolis’s public hospital ERs or lined up for hours for coronavirus assessments, exhausted staffers had been pissed off that one high physician was getting particular therapy.
Dr. John McNelis, the chairman of surgical procedure at Jacobi Medical Middle within the Bronx, secured a valuable ICU mattress for every week — although he wasn’t on a ventilator or intubated — and obtained kid-gloves care on the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, in line with outraged staff.
It highlighted the “deep unfairness” between the haves and have nots within the pandemic, one Jacobi well being care employee stated.
McNelis, 62, ate breakfasts dropped off by his household and picked up by an aide. “There wasn’t a lot I may eat,” he stated. “Form of the one factor I needed to eat was a toasted bagel with orange juice.”
His spouse — initially not sporting a masks — was allowed to go to although the state had banned all hospital guests except that particular person was “important to the care of the affected person” or in “imminent end-of-life conditions.”
“We didn’t see some other guests for anybody else,” the insider stated.
And in his room within the surgical ICU, it was all fingers on deck. Not solely did virtually each physician in McNelis’ division present up, however so did the hospital’s high infectious illness physician and pharmacy specialists, an insider stated.
“It was a zoo in there,” the insider stated.
The physician was properly sufficient to publish on social media, tweeting on April 8: “Been a bit preoccupied of late. Many observations however few I can talk about.”
McNelis arrived on April three on the finish of the worst week of NYC’s coronavirus outbreak with admissions to all town hospitals reaching a excessive of 10,804 over seven days, metropolis Division of Well being statistics present.
Most of the metropolis’s public Well being + Hospitals services like Jacobi had been overwhelmed. On April 2, the hospital system introduced that Jacobi would add 265 medical beds and 93 ICU beds within the coming months to deal with the affected person surge.
Simply days earlier, on March 28, indignant Jacobi nurses protested outdoors the hospital demanding extra private protecting tools. Staffers had been requested to make use of the identical N95 masks for 5 days.
McNelis informed The Put up that when he arrived on the hospital he had pneumonia and low oxygen saturation and there was worry he was on the verge of a cytokine storm, an immune system overreaction that might show deadly.
He stated he was handled with a trial of the experimental anti-viral remedy remdesivir and the arthritis drug tocilizumab. He stated he believed he acquired the identical COVID-19 care as others aside from being within the ICU.
“You possibly can argue whether or not I wanted the ICU mattress or not,” he stated. “When it comes to the medical care, it was normal.”
McNelis stated he was “very grateful for the care” he obtained.
However some Jacobi workers members discovered his gesture of gratitude a bit unusual and patronizing, insiders stated. He gave out $50 American Categorical present playing cards that he had personalised to learn “Dr. McNelis Mattress 12.”
“What was the aim of the mattress quantity?” an insider stated. “Why not write a pleasant thanks card?”
“I figured it was the least I may do,” McNelis stated. “It was properly meant.”
A spokesman for the hospital system stated McNelis sought therapy at Jacobi “as a result of he believed within the prime quality care his heroic colleagues present to all New Yorkers. He obtained the identical degree of care he confirmed all his sufferers in the course of the pandemic. Instantly after recovering, Dr. McNelis returned to work and paid it ahead to numerous sufferers within the Bronx.”