‘Health Corps’: Gov. Newsom wanted retired doctors and nurses to help treat COVID patients. What happened?

An LA County Department of Public health sign is pinned at the entrance of a market in Topanga Canyon. It says, “Back to basics. Wear a mask. Wash your hands. Physical distance. Limit gatherings.” December 5, 2020. Photo by Amy Ta/KCRW

During the early days of the pandemic in March, Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order that was supposed to add tens of thousands of workers to the state’s health care system. More than 90,000 people signed up. 

Now nine months later, the pandemic is worse than it’s ever been. Hospitals are on the brink of disaster. When they say they’re running out of capacity, they mean they’re running out of staff. 

Now seems to be the perfect time to deploy Newsom’s “Health Corps.” But hardly any of the 90,000 who signed up are available to help. Only a few hundred doctors and nurses are available. So what happened?

Sacramento Bee: Newsom asked California doctors and nurses to join his Health Corps. Why the plan flopped

Credits

Guest:

  • Jason Pohl - investigative reporter at The Sacramento Bee