KEY POINTS

  • A letter signed by 600 doctors was sent to President Donald Trump asking him to end the nationwide lockdowns
  • There are "exponentially growing health consequences" if patients can't leave their homes, the letter mentioned
  • But Dr. Anthony Fauci testified that more "suffering and death" could happen if the U.S. reopens

President Donald Trump received a letter signed by 600 doctors Tuesday who said the coronavirus lockdown to slow down the rate of infection could spur a "mass casualty incident" if businesses remained closed and people continued to stay home.

The doctors urged the president to end the nationwide lockdowns as there were "exponentially growing health consequences."

"We are alarmed at what appears to be the lack of consideration for the future health of our patients," the letter stated. "The downstream health effects are being massively under-estimated and under-reported. This is an order of magnitude error."

Patients were reportedly not getting their routine checkups that could help with early detection of diseases like cancer and heart problems. The lockdown was also leading to an increase in substance or alcohol abuse, which could further compromise the body's immune system.

Pregnant women who needed crucial prenatal care so their babies can develop well were also unable to visit their obstetricians regularly. However, some healthcare providers have shifted to telemedicine to support their patients while minimizing in-person contact.

"The millions of casualties of a continued shutdown will be hiding in plain sight," the letter continued. "But they will be called alcoholism, homelessness, suicide, heart attack, stroke, or kidney failure. In youths, it will be called financial instability, unemployment, despair, drug addiction, unplanned pregnancies, poverty, and abuse."

medical-563427_1920 A group of doctors have written President Donald Trump a letter asking to end the nationwide lockdowns as its indirect consequences outweigh the direct risks of coronavirus. Photo: Pixabay

The letter included a list of patients, identified by their initials, who were struggling with the consequences of being unable to leave home to work, exercise, or manage their depression. One psychiatric patient apparently died from fentanyl overdose during the lockdown because she was unable to see her therapist or attend group meetings to help her abstain.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci, however, told senators during a hearing May 12 that reopening the United States could lead to more "suffering and death.” Experts also said easing lockdown measures might trigger the second wave of infections.

The group of doctors who wrote to Trump said the indirect consequences of the lockdown outweigh the direct risk. Dr. Mark McDonald, one of the signatories in the letter, stressed the lockdowns made sense three months ago to flatten the curve and prevent overwhelming hospitals and healthcare workers.

"What we've seen now over the last three months is that no city -- none, zero -- outside of New York has even been significantly stressed," McDonald said.