Dr. Fauci Just Said These States Have Hospitals Overflowing
More than 282,000 Americans have perished from coronavirus. And 250,000 more Americans could die of COVID-19 by the end of January. "It is possible," Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, told Major Garrett on his podcast The Takeout. "You just need to do the math." He says we're in "a very precarious situation" and a "surge on top of a surge" coming—we had 227,00 new cases on Friday alone. Many hospitals, as a result, are already overwhelmed, with intensive care units unable to accommodate patients who don't have COVID. Some states in particular have this problem more than others, which Fauci discussed with Garrett. See if your state is on the list, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
Dr. Fauci Said the Northern Plains and the Heartland Have Hospitals Overflowing
Dr. Fauci was asked about the ICUs overflowing, and if we were going "to go back to where we were in the spring, where some hospitals will say, we can only take COVID patients."
"Yeah, it is unfortunately a possibility," said Fauci. "And we're seeing that particularly in those areas of the country, such as the Northern Plains and some of the Northwestern States, the heartlands—some of the heartland hospitals that had not had that major surge that you recall so well in the very early spring, that we had in the Northeast and Florida, where you had New York and Boston, and then Detroit in Chicago, New Orleans, you have some of the smaller hospitals, the community hospitals that might, you know, have 20 beds in the whole region, 25 beds that are ICU. And then you wind up having twice as many ICU patients. So not only are you going to have to just be admitting COVID patients, but even some of the patients that need ICU intensive care don't have the beds or the staff who are trained in ICU care to take care of them."
States in the Northern Plains include Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. "It's one giant ball of anxiety trying to figure out where the next patient's going to go," Wisconsin respiratory therapist Donovan Boetcher told CBS News. Hospitals in Texas, Pennsylvania and Idaho are also strained.
If You Have a Stroke or Heart Attack, There May Not Be Room For You
"We're perilously close to stretching it, to getting the system really, really strain," said Fauci. "And as you alluded to, it is true that once you have that many COVID patients, the normal medical care, that is important. People who have heart attacks, people who have bleeding ulcers, people who have strokes, they need to go someplace, they need to be taken care of. So not only do you have a situation that's very difficult with COVID itself, but you bump the other things that are really important. And we've seen that at the height of some of the surges where things were left on attended to that wound up in even worse medical situations. So it's almost like a double barrel hit that you take."
"That's the dread of any hospital or any healthcare system," he said. "That one of the things you get concerned about, even when you don't have something as dramatic as a COVID surge, is when all of a sudden you run out of beds. And there are people who come in to the emergency room or get referred who really do need to be seen by a physician. And you can't take care of them. That's a terrible situation to be in. We're not there now, but we're perilously close to that in some regions of the country. Obviously other regions are really in good shape, vis-a-vis backed up, but some regions of the country are stressed already and we'll likely get even more stressed over the coming weeks."
How to Stay Alive—and Out of the Hospital—During the Pandemic
Of the fact that another quarter million people may die in the next two months, Fauci adds: "I say that in one breath, but in the other breath, I say, we don't need to accept those very, very difficult to accept numbers if we do something about it." Follow his fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene and to protect your life and the lives of others, and don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.