For weeks now, California officials have been warning people about an impending wave of coronavirus cases set to sweep across the state. And yet, despite that horrific forecast of doom, gloom, and destruction, a shuttered Los Angeles area hospital, St. Vincent Medical Center, which was used earlier this year to help treat COVID-19 patients, is now the site of a major Hollywood production.
Hmmm. Seems there’s probably better uses for the facility if the end of the world is coming via waves of the plague, right?
If you take a look at the parking lot of the former hospital, you’ll quickly see its full of trailers that are typically used in movie or television productions to do on-location shoots.
There’s also a truck in the lot from a company known as Cinelease, which is a lighting and grip equipment rental provider. There are also food tents set up, complete with cooks preparing meals.
There’s filming happening at St. Vincent Hospital AKA the abandoned hospital that was reopened for 39 days as Los Angeles Surge Hospital. Dr. Anand Annamalai called LASH “a clinically led socialistic system.”
— Brittani Nichols (@BisHilarious) December 7, 2020
What could be interpreted as a makeshift crew parking sign pointing to an indoor lot reads “TRIAGE,” a common word around hospitals but also the name of a pilot greenlit by ABC executives earlier this year.
After a shortage of intensive-care unit beds triggered a regional stay-at-home order throughout Southern California and beyond, public health authorities have been warning of a wave of new infections from Thanksgiving gatherings that is about to hit.
Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, a billionaire who owns The Los Angeles Times, purchased the former 366-bed hospital out of bankruptcy earlier this year for $135 million. After a federal judge approved the sale on April 10, The Times reported that its owner “plans to create a coronavirus research facility on the campus” that would “attract doctors and experts on the virus” and “relieve pressure on other hospitals.”
So the temporary state-funded hospital opened up on April 13, which was just three days after the bankruptcy judge approved the purchase of the property by Soon-Shiong.
It was said that California would need 50,000 more beds to help respond to the next wave of coronavirus cases. The facility was called the Los Angeles Surge Hospital and it only admitted COVID-19 patients who met a specific set of criteria.
But guess what? LASH was shut down just 39 days after it opened. You know how many patients ended up getting treated there? Try 64. Nine of those individuals died.
None of the area hospitals were overwhelmed. The wave of sick folk never came.
So, again, if there is some world ending wave of the plague about to rip through the state, why isn’t St. Vincent Medical Center being prepared to accept patients again? Why is it being used for a Hollywood production?
Perhaps we’re witnessing some more fear mongering?