David Lat, 44, Is on a Ventilator
In 2015, Mrs. P. and I were invited by Alex Kozinski to the Richard H. Chambers Courthouse in Pasadena (the Pasadena courthouse where the Ninth Circuit houses several judges), to attend a talk by David Lat (formerly of Above the Law) about his then-new novel Supreme Ambitions. David signed my copy of the book with some very kind words, and we exchanged emails later that year after I finished the book, in which emails he was (again) very kind to me.
Today, he is in critical condition on a ventilator in a Manhattan hospital with COVID-19. He s 44 years old.
David Lat is in critical condition and has been has been put on a ventilator at NYU Langone Hospital in Manhattan, where his fight with the coronavirus has taken a turn for the worse, according to his husband, Zachary Baron Shemtob.
In a phone interview on Saturday evening, Shemtob said that at some point late Friday night or early Saturday morning, Lat, founder of the legal blog Above the Law and now a widely recognized legal recruiter, was put on a ventilator after “his oxygen levels dropped.”
“He’s not doing great,” Shemtob said, adding that the NYU Langone doctors and other staff “are really attending to him. They’re taking it hour by hour, day by day.”
. . . .
Shemtob, a former clerk for U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Judge Robert Sack and a former associate at Cooley, echoed a message that Lat himself delivered during a phone interview on Wednesday night. “I just want people to know how serious this can be,” Shemtob said.
Does Lat have a pre-existing condition? Well, yes, but … he has been quite a healthy person for someone with a condition:
In Lat’s Wednesday interview and in Twitter posts and threads he posted last week from his hospital bed, he said that he’s generally been a very healthy person. He’s run two New York City marathons and until recently did intense interval training each week and walked about 25 miles a week, as well.
Lat said that he does have exercise-induced asthma. Shemtob on Saturday said the asthma may be making it harder for Lat to deal with COVID-19, which affects the respiratory system.
“It’s scary. It’s scary to be a mostly healthy person who now can’t even walk 5 feet,” Lat said on Wednesday.
If you have been going around thinking you are invincible, untouchable by the coronavirus because you are under 60 years of age, think again. This is serious stuff.
I’ll be praying for David to pull through. I think he will. But as he said: it’s scary.