Coronavirus: Texas mayors warn of “serious problems” as cases increase in United States | Coronavirus
Two prominent Texas mayors have warned that hospitals in their cities will be ‘inundated’ with Covid-19 cases within two weeks, even as Donald Trump continues to describe the nationwide coronavirus resurgence as embers. a fire it goes out regularly.
“If we don’t get our hands on this virus quickly, in about two weeks our hospital system could be in serious trouble. ” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said on Sunday, the last day of a July 4 holiday weekend in which experts feared many Americans were following public health guidelines.
“I mean, overwhelmed. Right now we have a bed capacity. But just let me tell you, the major problem [is] the endowment. We can always provide extra beds, but we need people, nurses and all the rest, medical professionals to fill those beds. This is the critical point right now.
Turner’s comments, to CBS’s Face the Nation, came as hospitalization rates and Covid-19 positivity increased in his town.
Texas, with Arizona and Florida, has become a hotspot for the infection, recording six consecutive days of new confirmed cases exceeding 5,000. On Saturday, it set a record 8,258 cases and 7,890 hospitalizations.
“One month ago, one in 10 people tested positive,” said Turner, a Democrat. “Today it’s one in four. The number of people falling ill and going to the hospital has increased exponentially. The number of people in our [intensive care] beds grew exponentially.
According to Johns Hopkins University researchers, the United States has now confirmed nearly 2.9 million cases of coronavirus and nearly 130,000 deaths. The states that were the first hot spots, led by New York, are pausing or proceeding cautiously with their plans to reopen.
At the White House on Saturday, Trump tried to play down the resurgence of the virus, claiming without evidence that the infection was “99% harmless”.
“Our strategy is progressing well”, he said. “He goes out in one area, he puts up his ugly face in another area. But we have learned a lot. We have learned to extinguish the flame.
The president’s remarks angered Steve Adler, the Democratic mayor of Austin.
“I understand he has a tough job, but it’s dangerous not to send a clear message to Americans, to people in my town,” he told CNN’s State of the Union.
“We have the 4th of July weekend and we need everyone to wear masks. And when they start to hear this kind of ambiguous message coming from Washington, there are more and more people who will not wear masks, who will not take social distance, who will not do whatever it takes to ensure. the security of a community.
“And it’s wrong, and it’s dangerous. I just have to hope people won’t listen to this and stay focused on what they’re hearing here more locally.
Hospitals in Austin, Adler said, were facing a crisis almost identical to those in Houston.
“Driving in our city started to change about two weeks ago,” he said. “If we don’t change the trajectory, then I’m within two weeks of our hospitals overflowing. And in our intensive care units, I could be 10 days away from that. “
Greg Abbott, the Republican governor of Texas, implemented a statewide mask mandate last week, a move Adler said he welcomed but wished it had come over. early. Abbott’s office said on Sunday that more than 400 cases of the antiviral drug remdesivir had been distributed to 157 hospitals and 600 medical staff and 16 ventilators had been deployed in the most needy areas of South Texas.
Elsewhere over the holiday weekend, pressure on hospital space increased. Florida, where beaches in the populated southeastern Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties were closed to deter large gatherings, recorded 10,059 new cases on Sunday, exceeding 200,000 cases alone. two weeks after reaching 100,000.
Four of 11 Pinellas County hospitals were running out of intensive care beds as of Sunday, according to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, after weeks of warnings that hospital space across the State was diminishing.
In Miami-Dade County, which implemented its own mask requirement after Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis resisted growing calls for a statewide tenure, more patients (138) have been admitted to hospital than discharged (125). The total number of inpatients of 1,538 is almost double the June 22 tally of 776.
“It is clear that the growth is exponential at this point,” Francis Suarez, Republican mayor of Miami, told ABC This Week. “You know, we’ve broken record after record after record, every last couple of weeks.
“The city of Miami was the last city in the entire state of Florida to open. I have been criticized for having waited so long. But there is no doubt that when we reopened people started to socialize as if the virus did not exist. “
Arizona reported 3,536 new cases on Sunday, an increase of 841 from the previous day.
“We opened way too early in Arizona,” Kate Gallego, Democratic mayor of Phoenix, told ABC. “We were one of the last states to go home and one of the first to reappear.”