A Texas judge spelled out the dire COVID-19 situation for young people in the state on Friday, telling a news conference that “in Dallas, we have zero ICU beds left for children.”
“That means if your child’s in a car wreck, if your child has a congenital heart defect or something and needs an ICU bed, or more likely if they have COVID and need an ICU bed, we don’t have one,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.
“Your child will wait for another child to die,” he bluntly pointed out.
“Your child will just not get on the ventilator, your child will be CareFlighted to Temple or Oklahoma City or wherever we can find them a bed,” Jenkins added. “But they won’t be getting one here unless one clears.”
The situation for adults does not appear to be much better.
Jenkins tweeted Friday that only 17 adult ICU beds were currently available in the county.
Statewide, there are only 323 ICU beds available — as the number of people requiring hospital treatment spikes, fueled by the spread of the more contagious delta variant and the plateauing of the vaccination rate. The vast majority of people now being hospitalized with COVID-19 have not received the vaccine.
Jenkins’ comments came amid his legal battle over mask mandates with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R). Abbott, a Donald Trump apologist, last month signed an executive order declaring local governments could not require their wearing.
Jenkins successfully challenged the ruling and issued his own order requiring masks at schools and certain businesses. Abbott appealed that ruling to the 5th Court of Appeals in Dallas. The court upheld Jenkins’ order late Friday, reported The Dallas Morning News. Abbott has filed an appeal with the Texas Supreme Court.
Calling all HuffPost superfans!
Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost’s next chapter