CNN reported on the country’s increasing coronavirus death toll, but has relegated news about potential hospital closures and ongoing hospital furloughs to an afterthought.
Comparing CNN’s coronavirus coverage, there are dozens more articles on the Trump administration’s pandemic response than articles on the real-world implications of state-wide coronavirus lockdown orders on hospitals and hospital workers. For example, within the last two months, CNN has published three articles on how hospitals are struggling with coronavirus lockdown orders and restrictions on medical services.
Meanwhile, CNN published at least one article per weekday on the federal government’s pandemic response and any Trump-related news in the same time period.
When CNN did cover the issue of hospitals’ struggles in the pandemic, it reported that rural hospitals were the hardest hit. With restrictions on “elective” procedures, hospitals lose the potential revenue from these procedures.
Also, without some of the elective procedures, patients put themselves at higher risk of death or worse health complications. Without the added revenue, hospitals have furloughed workers until the pandemic’s effects weaken or until the state lifts restrictions.
State-wide lockdown orders have the potential to deal irreversible damage to rural hospitals that struggle to begin with, which could further damage rural areas’ viability going forward. It could lead to the loss of jobs, a depopulation movement to find homes closer to hospitals outside of the area, and other similar consequences. But none of these issues made CNN’s homepage.