Russian President Vladimir Putin claims he has the coronavirus under control and that everything is just fine in the former Soviet Union. He recently stated: “All levels of power are working in an organized, responsible and timely way. The situation is under full control. All of our society is united in front of the common threat.” Nothing to see here. It’s all good, says Vlad.
Well, three doctors who were treating coronavirus patients have fallen out of hospital windows lately. But that could happen anywhere, anytime, right? Doctors fall out of hospital windows all the time, no? Surely it is just a coincidence that at least two of the three and maybe all three had recently complained about the lack of personal protective gear in the country.
In all seriousness, this sounds Clintonesque. Doctors do not, in fact, simply fall out of hospital windows. (“Damn, that’s the fifth one we’ve lost this week!”) I’ve never heard of this happening before. If Russian hospitals are anything like those in America, their exterior walls are built out, leaving a shelf for patients’ flowers, etc., and the windows, if any, don’t come down very far from the ceiling. And those windows are thick double-panes. It would be damn near impossible to accidentally fall through or out of one, even if it were open…to take advantage of the warm Russian April air, no doubt. Funny that they just happened to question their government’s readiness to combat COVID-19 before accidentally stumbling out the windows.
Alexander Shulepov, a doctor in Voronezh, located roughly 320 miles south of Moscow, is currently in serious condition after tumbling from a second-floor hospital window, according to local state television. He was reportedly receiving treatment for coronavirus at the time, yet had been forced to continue working.
Elena Nepomnyashchaya, acting head doctor of a hospital in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, recently died after allegedly falling out a window during a meeting with health officials in which they discussed turning the clinic into a facility for treating the coronavirus. Nepomnyashchaya was supposedly against the idea, due to the lack of protective gear in the hospital. Apparently, the meeting with officials somehow caused her to lose her balance and sense of direction.
Natalya Lebedeva was the head of the emergency medical service at Star City, the main training base for Russian cosmonauts. She, too, was being treated for coronavirus, according to a hospital within the Federal Biomedical Agency, when she, too, suffered a “tragic accident.”
It would have been easier—and more believable-- if government officials had said these doctors were all hit by lightning or were abducted by aliens. (Shulepov could be recovering or have escaped.)
It’s not just the three Russian doctors who went out the window. In fact, they almost certainly did not. The credibility of the government officials, on the other hand, most certainly did.