New York Times’ COVID-19 coverage reviewed by Bruce Brown
A former New York Times reporter looks at the current Times reporting
The following is Bruce Brown‘s commentary response from the Coronaviras Vaccine & Herd Immunity Digest to a video by Robin Stein and Ainara Tiefenthaler, “What Disease Are We Treating?’ Why Coronavirus Is Stumping Many Doctors,” that appeared in the April 14, 2020 New York Times.
Brown writes: “Dramatic on-screen interviews. Conflicting ideas at play against the backdrop of high human drama. And an important breaking turn in the story of the century. This New York Times video news piece by Robin Stein and Ainara Tiefenthaler has just about got it all!”
What Disease Are We Treating?’ Why Coronavirus Is Stumping Many Doctors, New York Times, 4/14/2020
According to this New York Times video news production by Robin Stein and Ainara Tiefenthaler, doctors say the coronavirus is challenging core tenets of medicine, leading some to abandon long-established ventilator protocols for certain patients. But other doctors warn this could be dangerous.
THIS NEW York Times news video is one of the very best, most powerful, and NEWSWORTHY reports that have appeared in the entire coronavirus saga.
The surface narrative here is driven by a series of cinéma vérité interviews with off duty doctors who admit, over and over, that they don’t know how to treat COVID-19, or even what disease they are treating (hence the video’s title).
“This thing is different than anything we’ve seen before,” said Dr. Salim R. Reasie, a San Antonio, TX, ER physician. “The paradigm for ARDS is just not matching what we’re seeing [with COVID-19]. So it’s like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.”
Said Dr. David A. Farci, presient American Academy of Emergency Medicine, “this thing challenges everything we believed was right six weeks ago.”
“I mean, this is strange. It’s like out of some horror movie,” mused Dr. Cameron Kyle-Sidell, a Brooklyn, NY, ER doctor.
The doctors, several of whom appeared exhausted, freely acknowledged that what they have been trained to do — the protocols established by modern medicine — are not working with COVID-19, e.g., the use of ventilators for patients with low blood oxygen, as was widely prescribed at the outset of the pandemic.
Farci, Reasie, Kyle-Sidell and the others in this video were among the first physicians to speak in the popular press of coronavirus’s frightening capacity to produce hemantic derrangement, or the cytopic storm phenomenon, where a “storm of the blood” creates thousands of tiny clots that can cripple and/or damage virtually any organ, especially the lungs.
“Today, we do not rush to intibation (ventilate),” said Farci. “Intubation has become the last resort.”
“So, within the last two weeks what was unacceptable has become very acceptable,” said Dr. Richart Harper, ER physician in Davis, CA.
DRAMATIC on-screen interviews. Conflicting ideas at play against the backdrop of high human drama. And an important breaking turn in the story of the century.
This New York Times video news piece by Robin Stein and Ainara Tiefenthaler has just about got it all!
Bravo to everyone involved in this accomplished, hard hitting video report!
— Bruce Brown
Editor, Coronavirus Vaccine & Herd Immunity Digest
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