Two prominent Texas mayors have warned that hospitals in their cities will be “overpowered” by cases of Covid-19 within two weeks, even though Donald Trump continues to portray the resurgence of the coronavirus across the country as the glow of a fire that he is constantly extinguishing .
“If we don’t get this virus under control quickly, our hospital system could run into serious, serious problems in about two weeks,”
“I mean, overwhelmed. At the moment we have bed capacity. But let me just say the main problem [is] the occupation. We can always provide extra beds, but we need the people, the nurses, and everyone else, the healthcare professionals, to fill those beds. That is the critical point at the moment. “
Turner’s comments on CBS’s Face the Nation came as hospital stays and Covid-19 positivity rates increased in his city.
Texas, along with Arizona and Florida, has become a hotspot for the infection, with over 5,000 confirmed new cases confirmed for six consecutive days. A record of 8,258 cases and 7,890 hospitalizations was set on Saturday.
“One month out of ten people tested positive,” said Democrat Turner. “Today it’s one in four. The number of people who get sick and go to hospitals has increased exponentially. The number of people in our [intensive care] Beds have increased exponentially. “
According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. has now confirmed nearly 2.9 million coronavirus cases and nearly 130,000 deaths. States that were early hotspots, including New York, pause or are cautious about reopening plans.
In the White House on Saturday, Trump tried to downplay the resurgence of the virus, claiming without evidence that the infection was “99% harmless.”
“Our strategy is progressing well,” he said. “It ends in one area, it stretches its ugly face in another area. But we learned a lot. We learned how to put out the flame. “
The president’s words angered Steve Adler, the Democratic Mayor of Austin.
“I understand that he has a tough job, but it is dangerous not to send a clear message to the Americans and to the people in my city,” he told CNN’s State of the Union.
“We have the weekend on July 4th and we need everyone who wears masks. And when they start hearing this kind of ambiguous message from Washington, there are more and more people who don’t wear masks, who don’t do social distance, who don’t do what it takes to protect a community.
“And that’s wrong and dangerous. I just have to hope that people don’t hear that and continue to focus on what they hear here on site. “
The hospitals in Austin, Adler said, were facing an almost identical crisis to that in Houston.
“Behavior in our city changed about two weeks ago,” he said. “If we don’t change the trajectory, I’ll be within two weeks of our hospitals overflowing. And in our intensive care units I could be 10 days away. “
Republican governor of Texas Greg Abbott implemented a nationwide mask mandate last week. A step that Adler welcomed but wished he had come earlier. On Sunday, Abbott’s office announced that more than 400 cases of the antiviral drug remdesivir had been distributed to 157 hospitals and 600 medical personnel and 16 ventilators had been deployed to areas with the greatest need in southern Texas.
In other places during the holiday weekend, the pressure on the hospital room increased. Florida, where beaches in the populous southeastern counties of Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach were closed to hold large gatherings, had 10,059 new cases on Sunday, making the state exceed 200,000 just two weeks after reaching 100,000.
Four of the eleven hospitals in Pinellas County, according to the Florida Health Administration, no longer had intensive care beds on Sunday after weeks of warning that the hospital room was shrinking across the state.
In Miami-Dade County, which introduced its own mask requirement after Republican governor Ron DeSantis defied growing demands for a nationwide mandate, more patients (138) were hospitalized than discharged (125). The total number of inpatients of 1,538 is almost double that of 776 on June 22nd.
“It is clear that growth is exponential at this point,” Republican Mayor of Miami Francis Suarez told ABC’s This Week. “You know we have broken record after record in the past few weeks.
“The city of Miami was the last city in the entire state of Florida to open. I was criticized for waiting so long. But there is no doubt that when we reopened, people started making contacts as if the virus didn’t exist. “
Arizona reported 3,536 new cases on Sunday, an increase of 841 from the previous day.
“We opened in Arizona far too early,” Kate Gallego, the Democratic Mayor of Phoenix, told ABC. “We were one of the last states to stay at home and one of the first to reappear.”