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Rep. Jon Santiago Says Boston Medical Center Can Handle Rise in Coronavirus Cases

On Tuesday, The Boston Medical Center announced that they would be furloughing 700 employees, about 10 percent of their staff, as the number of official coronavirus cases in Massachusetts reaches 6,660 cases and 89 deaths.

Massachusetts state representative Jon Santiago, who also works as an emergency room physician at Boston Medical Center, told Jim Braude on WGBH News’ Greater Boston that the loss of these employees would not hurt their ability to treat incoming coronavirus patients.

“The vast majority of those people were associated with elective surgeries,” he said. “They’ve cut elective surgeries out of all academic medical centers, out of all hospital centers because they are not essential services. We are preparing for the task at hand and that is COVID-19.”

Santiago said he is confident that the staff at the hospital will successfully be able to handle the rising number of coronavirus cases. “There is some anxiety, some angst among the nurses, and staff, and doctors, but we are prepared for this. We’re trained to do this, and we want to be here.

Santiago continues to believe that Charlie Baker has done a “tremendous job,” increasing the availability of coronavirus tests and praised his “rational approach,” to the crisis.

Santiago thinks that the lasting impact of the coronavirus will be more financial than medical. “Given the fact that we’ve extended income takes to July 15, there is going to be a significant drop in revenue, up to 3 billion,” he said. “We have to plan very smartly and very intelligently as the economic fallout will last a significantly longer than the public health crisis.”


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