NEW YORK – FOX News medical contributor Dr. Manny Alvarez reported on the public health crisis wrought by Hurricane Katrina for FNC while volunteering at a medical shelter in Baton Rouge. Below are his personal impressions of the tragedy he witnessed in the Gulf Coast.
We have all been told that there are two sides to every story. Well, that may be true, but it depends on which side, which story and the person telling the story. There were many tales that flowed from New Orleans this past week. Many related stories of the finest examples of humanity, while others told of the most beastly and horrendous possibilities, however horrible, that can be attributed to what we call the human condition.
As hurricane Katrina laid waste to the land, we witnessed the selfless volunteers who worked non-stop to serve the needs of others. We also witnessed the deeds of those who cared for nothing and no one but themselves. We saw spiritual selflessness on one side, selfish depravity on the other. We saw the choices made by countless brave and unheralded individuals who made an incredible difference in the lives of so many people in the wake of this American disaster.
We also witnessed the doctors, nurses and medical teams who chose to be there and do something positive under intensely horrific circumstances--and, we have now also heard stories about doctors, nurses and health care workers choosing which patients would live, and which in their care would die. These wildly circulated stories have come from unidentified and highly questionable sources. There was, and is, no basis in fact. As of today, there remains no relevant foundation for any of these stories, yet they persist.
These doctors and nurses were on the front lines of a horrific catastrophe. Many of them remain in New Orleans, away from family and friends, continuing to work countless hours to heal and help revive a people and a city confronted by the worst natural disaster in American history.
When the history of Hurricane Katrina is written, when the human toll is one day recounted and the re-birth of New Orleans is complete, get the facts from those who were there.
If history is written by those who were the winners, then those who were there in the Gulf are the winners who will write this history.
Click on the Video box above to watch Dr. Manny's reports on Hurricane Katrina.
FOX News medical contributor Dr. Manny Alvarez is the Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Science at Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, N.J., and is Adjunct Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at New York University School of Medicine in New York City. He appears on FNC's daytime programs FOX & Friends and Dayside.