Fox News "medical expert" and expert terrible person, Dr. Nicole Saphier, phoned her “Fox & Friends" Sunday from the comfort of her self-quarantined home studio where she has a copy of Gray's Anatomy prominently displayed on a shelf because she's apparently a doctor. Dr. Saphier suggested a couple months ago that universal health care makes everyone less healthy because they can see doctors whenever they want, which as we all know is so much fun you just can't stand it. Now she's arguing that medical care turns sick people into leeches, sucking up oxygen from ventilators as if they're suffering from some insidious upper respiratory disease.

Dr. Saphier told the "Fox & Friends" panel that we're going to see more coronavirus deaths next week, which is terrible news, but the bright side, she insists, is that the rate of hospitalizations is decreasing. OK, that's marginally better news in a time where good news is scarce, but we probably shouldn't gloss over all the deaths or just record them all as fatalities from the previous quarter in the fiscal year.

Dr. Saphier explained that the death count is going to spike because of COVID-19 patients who've been on ventilators for several weeks. Their free oxygen train is ending.

DR. SAPHIER: At some point, they will have to come off the ventilators.

Uh ... why? Can't we just pretend they're all Terri Schiavo and keep them hooked up indefinitely?


Dr. Nicole Saphier: COVID-19 patients will have to 'come off' ventilators www.youtube.com

Dr. Saphier seemed so put out that patients are fighting for their lives on these ventilators. “At some point" these deadbeats are gonna have to come off these ventilators and be, well, literally dead. Growing up, if someone just put a couple ketchup packets in our takeout order bag, my mother would say, “Woman's acting like it's her ketchup." For some reason, Dr. Saphier is acting like these are her ventilators. So, Doc, what happens when patients do come off the respirators?

DR. SAPHIER: They're either going to survive or they're either going to die.

Yikes! That's a little bluntly callous from someone who normally fills her Twitter feed with inspirational mumbo-jumbo.

DR. SAPHIER: Some of the mortality rates coming out of China are ranging from 60 to 90 percent of people on the ventilators [who die]. Thankfully, here in the United States, that number varies. A study that came out of Washington showed that they had a 50 percent fatality rate, which is obviously much better.

It's true that people who need ventilators don't have the best prognosis. Shockingly few survive and those who do can suffer longterm health issues. This is a health care issue we'll need to address even after we're free to leave our homes again. Dr. Saphier has previously whined that single payer health care would be a “disaster" for the nation because it might reduce doctor pay (it won't). But ER docs and nurses are getting pay cuts right now from the private equity firms that bought their practices and hospitals. Since we're on the subject.

Dr. Saphier said that while deaths will increase from people being removed from ventilators, on the upside that frees up ventilators for the next lucky round of patients. This is all just terrible, and it was all far more preventable than Dr. Saphier tried to con people into believing when she felt up Donald Trump's ego during a recent Fox News virtual town hall.

DR. SAPHIER: President Trump, I do believe that as a nation we are beholden to you for your decisive, swift action in the beginning with the travel ban. I do believe we would've been in a much different, much worse, situation had that not happened.

Bullshit. Next week is when we'll receive the blood-soaked price tag for Trump's presidency.

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).

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