More than a third of the country’s cases are in New York — which has been in a partial lockdown for a week as officials try to slow the spread of the virus and hospitals scramble to keep up with the patients streaming in.
The state’s healthcare system is already overwhelmed. One hospital was forced to create a makeshift morgue and another reported 13 patient deaths in 24 hours. New York and its National Guard are now assembling four 1,000-bed temporary, overflow hospitals in existing buildings.
The rate of new cases may be slowing in New York, but the governor says it may take 21 days for the state to hit its peak — the highest point of reported cases before that number begins going down.
“No matter where you are, this is coming to you,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Thursday. “Take all the measures you can now to make sure people are home.”
Pandemic will hit these states hard, top US doctor says
New hotspots emerged as the numbers escalate in other states, the country’s top doctor says.
Those include Detroit, Chicago and New Orleans, US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams told CBS This Morning Friday.
“The virus and the local community are going to determine the timeline. It’s not going to be us from Washington, DC. People need to follow their data, they need to make the right decisions based on what their data is telling them,” he said.
“Everyone’s curve is going to be different,” Adams said.
But there is a shortage of lab technicians able to analyze coronavirus tests, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said, adding that even if he was able to obtain more machines for testing analysis, they wouldn’t have enough people to operate them.
In Louisiana, where deaths surged by more than 40% in a single day this week and continue to jump daily, hospitals are already working under stress.
“This is going to be the disaster that defines our generation,” said Collin Arnold, director of the city’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.
100,000 ventilators in 100 days
More than 196 million Americans are under orders to stay inside to help combat the virus.
Some of the key elements of the package include sending checks directly to individuals and families, a major expansion of unemployment benefits, money for hard-hit hospitals and health care providers, financial assistance for small businesses and $500 billion in loans for distressed companies.
State leaders have also urged him to respond to a looming shortage of medical supplies. The administration will facilitate the production or acquisition of “100,000 additional units” of ventilators through other means over a 100-day period, Trump said.
“We are manufacturing a lot of them [ventilators] now, we are accumulating a lot. We are taking a lot through the act,” Trump said, referring to the Defense Production Act — which he invoked Friday.
“Maybe we won’t even need the full activation. We will find out, but we need the ventilators,” he said.
CNN’s Jacqueline Howard, Cheri Mossburg, Matthew Hoye and Hollie Silverman contributed to this report.