A medical expert at NewYork-Presbyterian’s Columbia University Medical Center detailed the hospital’s “dire” situation as the number of coronavirus patients skyrocketed in the past week.
“The reality is what we’re seeing right now in our emergency rooms is dire,” Dr. Craig Spencer, director of global health in emergency medicine, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Tuesday night.
Spencer said that things have escalated since last week when he only tended to one or two coronavirus patients per shift in the emergency room.
“This week in my shift, nearly every single patient I took care of was coronavirus, and many of them extremely severe,” Spencer said. “Many were put on breathing tubes. Many decompensated quite quickly.”
With the number of coronavirus cases projected to keep rising, the doctor balked at the idea that the US could return to the status quo by Easter.
“To think that we will be in any place to lift these restrictionary measures by Easter in just two or three weeks, for me, seems [like] completely magical thinking,” Spencer said.
“What we know is that there’s math and modeling that can tell us that the number of cases are going to continue to rise. We’re really at the beginning of this outbreak.”
President Trump earlier Tuesday said he wants the country’s economy back open for the Christian holiday on April 12.
“You’ll have packed churches all over our country. I think it will be a beautiful time,” the president said during a Fox News virtual town hall.
Spencer also highlighted how healthcare workers are forced to cope with limited medical supplies, with some staffers using the same n-95 for a whole week.
“The CDC doesn’t want you re-using those,” Spencer said. “The supply chain is extremely tight.”
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