Michigan, Louisiana Become Coronavirus Hotspots
The governors of Louisiana and Michigan, two emerging hot spots for the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S., warned their state health systems are straining amid a surge in patients and looming shortages of medical supplies, CNBC reports.
The U.S. has the world’s largest number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus, which emerged late last year in China and has infected more than 125,000 Americans, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
The CNBC report also indicates that Michigan has more than 4,600 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 112 people have died. The state’s total number of confirmed infections is the fourth highest in the U.S., only behind the main epicenters of New York, New Jersey and California.
New Orleans has become the epicenter of Louisiana’s outbreak, according to Governor John Bel Edwards, who said there are positive coronavirus cases in 56 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes, the equivalent of a state county.
Louisiana’s largest city will run out of ventilators by April 4 and hospital beds by April 10 according to the current trajectory of the virus, the governor said Sunday
Bel Edwards urged Louisianans to stay home so the state can slow the spread of the virus and save lives. The state has more than 3,300 confirmed coronavirus cases and 137 have died, according to Johns Hopkins.
Michigan received a shipment of 112,095 masks yesterday from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, according to Whitmer.
While expressing gratitude for the supplies, she also said the state will “be in dire straits again in a matter of days.”
States have been forced to bid against each other for equipment, which has created confusion and concern, Whitmer said.
Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington state, which has been dealing with the U.S. coronavirus outbreak longest, said there is “desperate need” for testing kits and testing materials like swabs, calling for mass mobilization of production.
The governors’ comments come as President Trump on Friday ordered automaker General Motors to make ventilators under the Defense Production Act, a Korean War-era statute that can force certain American companies to produce materials in short supply in times of crisis.
The president’s directive came after weeks of debating the issue, and as reports have emerged of extreme shortages that have pushed health-care workers to create makeshift equipment like masks and safety goggles.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticized the president’s early handling of the COVID-19 crisis on Sunday, calling it “deadly” and warning the administration’s current delays in testing are costing lives.