By Dr. David Kaufman
As our nation heads toward the abyss, led by—pushed by—a pathologic narcissist, who is protected and supported by billionaire oligarchs and Dr. Strangelove Generals, we must remain vigilant, relentless, and outspoken in defense of our democracy and the lives we cherish.
Community organizing and local action are crucial activities even while fighting on the national level. We must watch out for each other and help our neighbors. We must proactively and compassionately support the homeless, the poor, the disenfranchised, and the victimized. As events unfold, this will become even more critical—these groups are among the biggest and most vulnerable targets of Trumpism.
With these thoughts in mind, what grander symbol of community action can there be than the fight to bring back a new hospital to the West Village? We will never know how many have died or suffered unnecessary complications because of the lack of emergency care, the prolonged transport times, and the overcrowded emergency departments. There is no point in reviewing yet again the statistics, the consequences, or the grim outcomes created by the endless closing of hospitals. The Lower West Side needs a new full-service hospital with a real emergency department.
The Village is now presented with the extraordinary opportunity to build a new hospital on Pier 40. It could be an amazing moment in the push to restore care to the millions who live, work, and visit here. It would involve no major demolition, no community disruption while being built, and no loss of residential or business real estate. Just think of it: a new hospital within the community with easy access to major roads for rapid transport. A full-service hospital with beautiful and soothing Hudson River views, offering the kind of compassionate care for all that was lost with the closure of St. Vincent’s.
For millions of us, these are grim times. How wonderful would it be, how therapeutic for all of us, to be part of a successful campaign to build a new first class hospital and emergency room to serve our community and all those in need?