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Sen. Kelly sees COVID care firsthand

Tours Tucson Medical Center ICU
Posted at 8:02 PM, Jan 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-15 19:00:46-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Hospitals hard pressed to cope with COVID need more Federal help to keep going. That’s the appraisal of U.S. Senator Mark Kelly after touring Tucson Medical Center Thursday. The Senator is also calling for more Federal help to help businesses live through the pandemic.

“We are losing about three patients a day right now in our intensive care unit.”

That’s Tucson Medical Center’s CEO offering in hard numbers the hard truth of COVID in her hospital.

That’s the situation Senator Mark Kelly saw first hand at TMC---a hospital with 70 patients in intensive care with some not expected to live.

Kelly says he wants continued and expanded Federal help to staff and equip hospitals, deliver vaccines and continue the life saving COVID antibody treatment TMC offers with Federal help. TMC is one of three spots in the country offering the antibody treatment but Federal staff support to administer it is about to end even though TMC still has a stock of the antibody meds.

Kelly says, “So what can we do so we were discussing this like, you know, some options, and those options are often you know state issues. But we're researching a couple things to maybe you know come up with a try to come up with a plan that allows a different staffing solution so we could potentially keep that going here.”

Kelly says he’d like to see states impose a mask mandate to suppress the virus’ spread and he wants to help the health of small businesses in danger from the loss of business the pandemic has caused.

“We've got to make sure that they're, they have opportunities to go back to these jobs restaurants, hotels, the travel industry are really struggling right now. Looks like we're gonna have to provide additional help to get us through the first six months of this year. And then I think beyond that as we vaccinate more Americans will be in better shape at the latter part of 2021.”