Use the Astrodome for Haitian Triage

I’ve been waiting, because I really am just that cynical, for the Red Cross to start getting blow-back on Haiti-related donations.

I thought it would happen when news started circulating that said it would actually take up to 90 days for donations made by text messages to be fulfilled. Fortunately, most people realize that money is fungible, and the Red Cross no doubt has set up accounting practices that allow them to use cash on hand that can be replenished with pledges.

So far, except for seeing snippy comments about the Red Cross administrative overhead in comment sections, I’ve not seen much Red Cross bashing.

Here’s a breakdown of how the Red Cross is spending the money raised:

When I heard that medical airlifts out of Haiti into Florida had been halted because hospitals were both overwhelmed by the number of patients and concerned about how they would pay for their care, that made perfect sense to me.

Yes, we all want to come together and do what we can to help, but you can’t expect the nurses, lab techs, janitors, and other lower-paid staffers, or even doctors, to donate their services around the clock at the expense, both in time and money, of their non-Haitian patients.

I wonder: can the Red Cross or any other charity channel donations back to affected hospitals in Florida to subsidize the care being provided?

That lead to another thought: should Houston ask that flights come here and once again turn the Astrodome into a triage site? I don’t want to knock Miami, but Houston’s medical community might be better able to absorb this influx of patients, and we demonstrated during Katrina that we know how to mobilize for emergencies like this. Our elected officials didn’t let party politics get in the way of coping with the crisis.

I’m sure Ellington Field could handle the C-130 landings, which is apparently another issue complicating the medical evacuation flights. What do you think?

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