An NPR member station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Regional News

Idaho Inches Closer To Having To Ration Health Care

12.10_brad_little.png
Screenshot from Idaho Public Television
/

Idaho Governor Brad Little today [Thursday] defended his state’s handling of the Covid pandemic and pleaded for people to exhibit the proper masking and distancing behaviors.

Little says some of the state’s hospitals are perilously close to being overwhelmed by Covid-positive patients. If it gets worse, he says, the state may have to move to its Crisis Standard of Care plan.

“Crisis Standard of Care guides decisions about how to allocate scarce resources, such as hospital beds, medications, or breathing machines. The goal of Crisis Standard of Care is to save as many lives as possible," he said.

He says that means non-Covid patients, even with serious medical problems, could be bypassed in favor of Covid patients.

Little also announced the state would remain in a modified Phase 2 of its coronavirus protocol, a continuation of action he took a few weeks ago.

The governor was pressed hard by reporters who asked why the state had allowed its Covid situation to become so serious. And they asked why he hadn’t used more of his emergency powers, such as invoking a statewide mask mandate.

The governor said he thinks those powers should be exercised by local authorities and grew exasperated after the questions were asked several different ways.

“Most of you that are asking the questions live right here in the Boise area," he said. "I’m very familiar with the totality of the state and, frankly, orders coming from Boise, Idaho, the interest in compliance dwindles significantly the further it gets away from the Treasure Valley here.”

Little also condemned the recent action by vandals who defaced Boise’s Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial.