As New York’s coronavirus outbreak flashes eerie parallels to Wuhan, Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered his most terrifying warning yet about the havoc that COVID-19 threatens to wreak on the U.S. healthcare system if the federal government fails to respond more aggressively to the crisis.
When we’re going to have a real problem is when cases hit their apex and descend on the health-care system and we will not have enough hospital beds.
That’s what happened in Italy, which recorded 368 COVID-19 deaths on Sunday alone and has confirmed more than 24,000 total cases.
Italian shops have been shuttered, and its tourist sites are empty amid a mandatory nationwide lockdown. But hospitals aren’t just busy – they’re running at capacity and helpless to respond as demand begins to outstrip supply.
Doctors are already forced to make stomach-churning decisions about which patients receive ventilation treatments and respirators. And it’s about to get a lot worse.
One leaked government document suggests that Italian healthcare hospitals may soon be instructed to deny treatment to coronavirus patients over 80 so that doctors can prioritize patients with a higher survival rate.
While New York has already taken aggressive steps to halt the spread of coronavirus – closing restaurants, entertainment venues, and barring public gatherings with more than 50 people – Governor Cuomo says the Donald Trump administration needs to step up to avoid an Italy-style healthcare system collapse.
And he’s not the only one drawing uncomfortable comparisons to Italy.
U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams – a Trump appointee – told Fox News today that the U.S. coronavirus outbreak is teetering at a “critical inflection point.”
We are where Italy was two weeks ago in terms of our numbers.
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Last modified: June 24, 2020 1:03 AM UTC