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Health care workers move a patient in the COVID-19 unit at United Memorial Medical Center in Houston. Photo: Mark Felix/AFP via Getty Images

A record 8,181 coronavirus patients were hospitalized Sunday in Texas, and officials in major cities warned that hospitals' intensive care capabilities could be overwhelmed within weeks, the Texas Tribune reports.

The big picture: New York hospitals never became so overwhelmed that patients were abandoned in hallways, but the situation became dire after lockdowns were in place, and it was mostly a matter of riding out the storm.

  • In Texas and elsewhere, people remain free to move around and thus keep spreading the virus.

What they're saying: Austin Mayor Steve Adler told the Austin American-Statesman yesterday that the city's hospitals could be overwhelmed in the "next 10 days to two weeks."

  • The San Antonio Express-News reported that San Antonio's hospitals could be overrun in a week or two, with coronavirus hospitalizations rising by 55% in that area's trauma service region over the last week.
  • In the Rio Grande Valley, 10 of 12 hospitals had already reached capacity by Saturday.

The bottom line: "Like New York City in March, the Houston hospitals are experiencing a steep rise in caseloads that is filling their beds, stretching their staffing, creating a backlog in testing and limiting the availability of other medical services," the New York Times reported over the weekend.

  • Health care workers are falling sick, and hospitals are struggling to replace supplies.
  • However, doctors have learned more about how to treat patients since March. And so far, Houston patients are younger, healthier and not as sick as New York's.

Go deeper

Black Americans are more skeptical of a coronavirus vaccine

Data: KFF; Chart: Axios Visuals

Strikingly large shares of Black Americans say they would be reluctant to get a coronavirus vaccine — even if it was free and had been deemed safe by scientists, according to a new nationwide survey from KFF and The Undefeated.

Why it matters: The findings reflect well-founded distrust of government and health care institutions, and they underscore the need for credible outreach efforts when a vaccine is distributed. Otherwise, distribution could fail to effectively reach the Black community, which has been disproportionately affected by coronavirus.

Updated Oct 25, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trumpworld coronavirus tracker

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

An outbreak of COVID-19 has struck the White House — including the president himself — just weeks before the 2020 election.

Why it matters: If the president can get infected, anyone can. And the scramble to figure out the scope of this outbreak is a high-profile, high-stakes microcosm of America's larger failures to contain the virus and to stand up a contact-tracing system that can respond to new cases before they have a chance to become outbreaks.

Facebook bans anti-vaccine ads, but not organic misinformation

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Facebook will ban anti-vaccine ads in an effort to combat misinformation and support public health experts, the social media platform announced in a statement on Tuesday.

Why it matters: The company now says it doesn't want these ads on its platform, but the policy does not apply to influencers who experts say drive a significant amount of organic misinformation about vaccines.

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