New York just delivered its most terrifying coronavirus warning yet, conjuring echoes of Italy's healthcare system collapse.
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.
This article was edited by Sam Bourgi.