Jackson doctor wants new approach to COVID-19 pandemic
JACKSON, Tenn. — As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Madison County, one local medical professional is advocating for a new approach to fighting the virus.
Dr. Jimmy Hoppers, with Physicians Quality Care, has released a letter questioning how effective the local COVID-19 task force has been.
“All they do is read CDC talking points that we can find on 1,000 different websites,” Hoppers said.
In his letter, Hoppers advocates for a different system where high-risk residents in Madison County are identified and encouraged to stay home by their local doctor’s office.
“If a random person calls you up, you might not listen. But if your doctor calls you up, or if somebody from his office calls you up, you’re inclined to listen,” Hoppers said.
Once a patient gives permission for followup conversations with their doctors, Hoppers says groups can step in and offer those individuals assistance with everything from groceries, to utilities, and more.
“When they say yes, that opens the floodgate. We enlist civic clubs, churches, private organizations, schools, anybody that will help,” he said.
“If these people are out of the population, the hospital census and critical care goes down, because these are the people that are taking up the beds,” Hoppers said.
Hoppers argues that with cases already spiking, the spread is going to happen regardless, therefore the focus of the county and the city should be on protecting the most vulnerable.
“This virus is going to continue to expand in the population. We can’t help that. We can take care of one individual for 30 days, for what it would cost to put them in the hospital for 24 hours,” Hoppers said.
As for the task force, Hoppers says he doesn’t see the point.
“I don’t see any reason for their existence because they haven’t done anything that has affected the people we need to affect, and that’s the high-risk people in Madison County,” Hoppers said.
WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News reached out to the health department, Jackson Mayor Scott Conger, and Madison County Mayor Jimmy Harris on Monday and Tuesday.
Mayor Conger and the health department Director Kim Tedford had no comment. Mayor Harris did not respond to requests for comment.
You can read Hoppers’ full letter here.