CoxHealth President and CEO Steve Edwards showed a little frustration while chatting with media members after Thursday’s press conference announcing that Prime, Inc. had paid the entire cost of the COVID-19 ward built in just two weeks to fight the pandemic.
Edwards wasn’t irritated with Prime or anything to do with the reason for the gathering of the press; he was irritated with people who continue to downplay the threat that COVID-19 is to the community, and wondered what more the healthcare professionals in the community could do to combat the misinformation about the disease.
“I looked at a CT scan of lungs from a COVID-19 patient,” Edwards said, “I’ve never seen anything like it. Not even the worst pneumonia patients I’ve seen in my career look anything close to what we see from a patient with COVID-19.”
Edwards later posted on Twitter a photo of healthy lungs next to a patient infected by the virus that causes COVID-19 (shown above.)
Edwards noted that COVID-19 deaths in the United States jumped from 201 on March 19th to 40,591 on April 19. By comparison, the Centers for Disease Control estimated 34, 157 for the entire 2018-2019 flu season. In the last 10 years of data related to the flu from the CDC, there have been more COVID-19 deaths in the March 19-April 19 time span than in 8 of the last 10 full flu seasons.
Cox is currently engaged in a trial of using plasma from a recovered COVID-19 patient to try and help a current patient struggling against the disease. Edwards said that currently only one patient is severe enough to meet the criteria for that trial.
Edwards also thanked Prime for their donation to the hospital.
“Tomorrow, a month from now, or 30 years from now, when I see a Prime truck on the road, I think that I will smile with gratitude knowing what Prime did for our community during this pandemic,” Edwards said.