Ohio has had an “unprecedented spike” in Covid-19 hospital admissions. ICU beds in Tulsa, Oklahoma, are full. North Dakota’s hospitals don’t have enough doctors and nurses. And hospital administrators in Iowa are warning that they are approaching their limits.
The U.S. is heading for a “dark winter,” a “Covid hell,” the “darkest days of the pandemic.” However you describe it, the next few months of the coronavirus pandemic will be unlike anything the nation has seen yet.
Even as drug manufacturers make progress on a vaccine and treatments, epidemiologists, scientists and public health officials are warning that the United States has yet to see the most difficult days of the outbreak. Those are projected to come over the next three to four months.
“What America has to understand is that we are about to enter Covid hell,” Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center of Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, said in an interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Alley” on Monday, hours after Pfizer announced promising news about its vaccine. “It is happening.”
Osterholm, who was appointed to President-elect Joe Biden’s coronavirus advisory board, correctly predicted months ago that there would be an “astronomical” increase in new cases after Labor Day. He now says “this number is going to continue to increase substantially.”
The U.S. is now reporting an average of more than 120,000 new Covid-19 cases a day — a staggering number that sets a deadly tone heading into the holiday season, medical experts say. The sheer volume of new cases cannot be explained by increased testing alone, because daily new cases are outpacing the rise in testing, health officials acknowledge.
Cases are also rising at a faster pace, with a roughly 33% jump in the seven-day average over the past week, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The number of people currently hospitalized across the U.S. also stands at record 61,964, according to the COVID Tracking Project, which is run by journalists at The Atlantic.
The News with Shepard Smith is CNBC’s daily news podcast providing deep, non-partisan coverage and perspective on the day’s most important stories. Available to listen by 8:30pm ET / 5:30pm PT daily beginning September 30: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/09/29/the-news-with-shepard-smith-podcast.html?__source=youtube%7Cshepsmith%7Cpodcast
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