* The Sun-Times takes a close look at how the McCormick Place was stood up in a big hurry with mostly federal funds. Remember the times we were in then, with New York City setting up tent hospitals to handle the overflow and patients were waiting for days to be admitted…
Taxpayers spent nearly $66 million fashioning McCormick Place into an emergency coronavirus hospital with 2,750 beds this past spring amid fears that COVID-19 patients would overwhelm hospitals in the Chicago area.
Those fears turned out to be unfounded. Just 38 patients were transferred to the sprawling convention center — meaning taxpayers’ cost for the makeshift hospital turned out to be more than $1.7 million per patient, on average.
But top aides to Mayor Lori Lightfoot say her decision to initiate the project with the federal government and the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority was an important “insurance policy” at a time of “immense emergency.”
“It’s something I’m incredibly proud of,” says Samir Mayekar, Lightfoot’s deputy mayor for economic and neighborhood development who says the money was “not spent in vain.”
He also notes that the medical equipment is being stored and can be redeployed if needed.
Aside from the headline and the lede, the story is very informative, so click here to read it.