Massive COVID Spread Coming, Warns Expert
Hospitals are filling up in cities like Atlanta, Minneapolis and Baltimore, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, some at 80% capacity, fueled by the coronavirus outbreak. In the wake of this news, former FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb went on CBS's Face the Nation Sunday to discuss the severity of our situation. Read on to find out how to keep your family safe, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
The Former FDA Chief Warned That "Things Are Getting Worse"
"Things are getting worse around the country," he said. "I think Thanksgiving is really going to be an inflection point. I think December is probably going to be our toughest month. But when you look at what's happening in states right now, you're seeing accelerating spread. We're right at the beginning of what looks like exponential growth in a lot of states, the Midwest, the Great Lakes region, even states like Texas, where you see 6,000 cases, Illinois, 8,000 cases, Florida 5,000 cases, Wisconsin 5,000 cases reported Friday. These are very worrisome trends. There are about 23 states right now that are accelerating the spread. Right now, there's—the positivity rate is above 10% in 15 states. And all the states have an R above one, which means that they're an expanding epidemic right now. So this is very worrisome as we head into the winter."
He Said the Grim Facts Are About to Supersede Politics
When asked about the White House ignoring certain inconvenient truths about the virus, or its relationship with Dr. Anthony Fauci, Gottlieb said: "I think the facts are going to overtake any political dialogue very quickly. I think as we get into the next two or three weeks, it's going to be unmistakable what's happening around the country. And we're going to have to start taking tough steps….I think you're going to see targeted mitigation. States take local actions, but we're going to have to start taking more aggressive actions."
He Predicted Hospitals Would be Strained to Accommodate All the People
"My view is the inflection point is going to be Thanksgiving," he reiterated. "You're going to see cases build over the next three weeks, and December is really going to be the slow month. But I think it's going to be unmistakable what's happening at that point, and we're going to be forced to, because the hospital systems are going to become pressed again."
He Said He Didn't Believe There Was Medical Fraud, as the President Claimed
President Trump said at a rally in Michigan this weekend that the COVID deaths are overstated because "'Our doctors get more money if someone dies from Covid. You know that, right? I mean, our doctors are very smart people.'"
"I think it's troubling to suggest that doctors are manipulating the data to try to get higher reimbursement," said Gottlieb. "The CARES Act, which the president signed, provides for additional money, about 20% more money for a COVID-pneumonia case than a regular pneumonia case. The reason was because it's more expensive to take care of these patients in the hospitals. The hospitals are bleeding money. This was a way to try to get them more resources. But you have to have COVID and you have to have pneumonia and it has to be documented. Any doctor that would be documenting COVID-pneumonia in a case where the patient doesn't have pneumonia, that's fraud. Also, CMS implemented measures to try to encourage hospitals to do more testing inside the hospital. So the testing that doctors are doing in the hospitals is because the government has encouraged them to do that testing. But the only additional money is if you- if you have pneumonia and you have COVID. That's not these patients that they're talking about that happen to come in with another condition and have COVID. There's no additional reimbursement for that."
How to Stay Safe From COVID-19
No matter your situation at home, wear a face mask, practice social distancing, avoid crowds, wash your hands frequently, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.