Letters from Middle TN Mayors Caucus and 600+ physicians

The replication rate (R0) of COVID‐19 is the primary area upon which we can impact this deadly virus. Compared to the annual influenza, COVID‐19 is anywhere from 60 to 100% more “efficient” at replicating itself. For instance, on average 10 patients with the influenza will infect 13 individuals. With COVID‐19, (R0 of 2.0 to 2.5), those same 10 will infect 20 to 25 individuals if we do nothing.

We are many months away from having a vaccine or approved FDA treatment and there is a high likelihood of inadequate hospital and ventilator capacity. According to very conservative estimates 20% of our state’s population will become infected. Based on hospital bed availability in Tennessee, we would surge above hospital and ICU bed capacity by 132% and 298%, respectively. Other estimates predict 40‐60% infectivity. This would prove disastrous.

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Lost Medicaid Funding

To date, the failure to expand Medicaid/TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding. (Source)

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