Troubling Rumbles, Appeals for Help

Is Coler a "Death Trap," Failing To Get Enough Supplies for Patients and Staff?

Updated 27 weeks ago David Stone
Coler Specialty Hospital
Coler Specialty Hospital
File Photo

While Covid-19 forces the rapid reinvention of Coler Specialty Hospital, are patients being cared for properly? What about protections for staff? Turns out, it depends on who you ask.

“We are very fortunate in that we’ve had plentiful supplies of PPE throughout this time. We are very fortunate, we’ve always had what we needed. This adds to our ample supply but, you know, again, we are very thankful,” Robert Hughes, Coler's CEO, told a Post reporter at the facility.

But a video posted by staffers on YouTube last week tells another story.

 

"Help us!" the group pleads.

State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright appeared to back them up, telling the Post, "Members of the community are getting alarming reports from the inside describing deathtrap conditions. The silence from the city hospital administrators is outrageous and insulting. We need to know what is going on inside right now.”

But the Post's report was partly undermined by the reporters' not even getting Seawright's name right. The Post twice calls her "Seabrook." The newspaper, closely aligned with political conservatives and known for sensationalism, is best read with a reality filter, especially when an opportunity to embarrass city administrators arises.

A same day report by AM New York contrasts so completely with the Post story that you'd think they covered different events.

“Roosevelt Island residents opened their hearts and responded with great generosity and without hesitation,” Seawright is quoted in AM New York. It goes on to say that means delivering "...600 surgical masks and donations to buy 325 N95 and KN95 respirators, 400 gloves and three K90 respirators."

Adding spice, a photo posted in the Roosevelt Islander shows Seawright arriving with a small box... and apparently ignoring social distancing.

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Who do you believe?

In spite of the small box and a single, empty-handed companion arriving with the assembly member, the Post, which never got Seawright's name right, said, "Local community leaders — including Assemblywoman Rebecca Seabrook — dropped off thousands of donated masks and shields, including some made by Cornell Tech University students."

The truth likely rests somewhere in-between, but Roosevelt Islanders' generosity and involvement is the one thing we know for sure.

The rest we may find out when the crisis is over and the stories can be confirmed.

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