The U.S. set a grim new record on Tuesday, with more than 60,000 Americans hospitalized with the coronavirus, according to the COVID Tracking Project. More than 100,000 new cases have been confirmed every day for the past week and one advisor to President-elect Joe Biden said that number could soon double.
“No question that our hospitals are about to be overrun,” said Dr. Michael Osterholm, a member of Mr. Biden’s new coronavirus advisory board. “Do not be at all surprised when we hit 200,000 cases a day.”
Hospitals in every corner of the country are being maxed out on capacity. Fifteen states have seen coronavirus hospitalizations double in the last month. In New Mexico, hospitalizations tripled in a month.
Dr. Cameron Cantor, the chief medical officer at Oklahoma University Health issued a warning. “If our current rate of infection is not heard, we will run out of beds and staff.”
In Idaho, one of the state’s largest hospitals had to temporarily turn away patients the last two weekends because there was no room.
Dr. Julio Novoa, an OB-GYN in El Paso, got the virus and passed it on to his wife.
“It’s something scary, it’s your life. You know, it could be life or death,” Danielle Novoa said.
Amid the grim milestones, there is some hope in the fight against the virus. The nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said Tuesday he expects Pfizer’s vaccine to go through the FDA’s emergency authorization process in the next week and a half. Pfizer said Monday that human trials suggest its vaccine is 90% effective at preventing infections in people who have not already had the virus.