At least one hospital in Charlottesville, VA has canceled all elective surgeries on Saturday due to the presence of neo-nazis and white nationalists at the “Unite the Right” rally taking place in town this weekend.
The University of Virginia Medical Center told a local newspaper that it had rescheduled all of its elective surgeries that were set for Saturday, and added medical and security staff shifts to account for medical needs caused by the right-wing chaos.
“As we routinely do when large events occur in the Charlottesville area, we are preparing for the possibility of incidents that could lead to an influx of patients,” said Josh Barney, a UVA Medical Center spokesman.
Dr. Eugene Gu noted that elective surgeries can include certain cancer procedures as well.
All elective surgery cases including for people with cancer were cancelled at the huge UVA hospital today. Thanks KKK. #Charlottesville
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) August 12, 2017
UVA Medical Center wasn’t the only hospital in the area altering its normal schedules as Sentara Martha Jefferson also geared up for medical emergencies related to the local state of emergency for Charlottesville declared by law enforcement. On Friday night, neo-nazis, many with Trump’s Make America Great Again hats, made fascist gestures and echoed Nazi chants during a torch-lit march through the streets. On Saturday, they clashed violently with counter-protesters, clergy and locals who did not want to welcome the far-right into their community.
63 million people voted for Trump. I believe when tens of millions of them see #Charlottesville, they are proud.
This is what they want. pic.twitter.com/OwLAATdl1x
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) August 12, 2017
The move by local hospitals to beef up emergency medical capabilities may have paid off, as a car intentionally crashed into a crowd of protesters and other vehicles on Saturday afternoon, pinning people between cars.
— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) August 12, 2017
The neo-Nazi rally was held in response to a decision by officials to remove a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee. The rally was initially going to be moved to another area, but the far-right activists lobbied a court to allow them to host their weekend of chaos in Charlottesville.