Mar 25, 2020 - Health

New York ER doctor: "Soon, our hospitals are gonna be overwhelmed" by coronavirus

Dr. Craig Spencer, the director of global health in emergency medicine at New York's Columbia University, said Wednesday on NBC's "Today" that hospitals in the city will soon be "overwhelmed" by the coronavirus outbreak.

What it matters: Spencer, who contracted and survived Ebola in 2014 after treating patients in Guinea, said that it's now "hard to find one or two patients that are not coronavirus" in the emergency room, marking an "absolutely staggering" increase from just last week.

  • There are more than 15,000 reported cases and 192 deaths from the virus in New York City alone, making it the largest epicenter in the United States and one of the largest in the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

What he's saying: "Everyone we see today was infected a week ago, or more. The numbers will undoubtedly skyrocket overnight, as they have every night the past few days. More will come to the ER. More will be stat notifications. More will be put on a ventilator," Spencer tweeted Tuesday.

  • "We were too late to stop this virus. Full stop. But we can slow its spread. The virus can't infect those it never meets. Stay inside. Social distancing is the only thing that will save us now. I don't care as much about the economic impact as I do about our ability to save lives."

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