Governors warn that state healthcare supplies and hospitals could be overwhelmed as soon as early April

governors

Bill Pugliano/Getty Images, Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards

  • Two governors spoke out about surges of new cases that will quickly overwhelm healthcare systems within the next few weeks. 
  • Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said the state was seeing a worrying "trajectory" that could see an exhausted supply of ventilators by "about the fourth or fifth of April," before running out of hospital beds days later. 
  • Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said the state is "going to be in dire straits again in a matter of days" as some hospitals are "already at capacity."
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Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said Sunday that the state was facing a concerning surge in cases of the novel coronavirus and could overwhelm the healthcare system by early April. 

Edwards said on ABC's "This Week" that the state is facing a worrying "trajectory" that includes a "spread that is growing faster than we would like to see." 
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"We remain on a trajectory, really, to overwhelm our capacity to deliver health care," Edwards said.

By the end of the first week in April, officials' "first real issue is going to be ventilators," Edwards said.

"And we think it's about the fourth or fifth of April before, down in the New Orleans area, we're unable to put people on ventilators who need them," Edwards said. "And then several days later, we will be out of beds."
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The governor issued a stay-at-home order last week after Mardi Gras celebrations in late February attracted thousands of residents and tourists to the city, which has been referenced by experts as a key factor in the city's outbreak.

Louisiana has since identified 3,315 cases and 137 deaths. Since the outbreak, 927 people have been hospitalized and 336 put on ventilators, according to the state's health department
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Edwards also appeared on NBC's "Meet the Press," where Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said the state is "going to be in dire straits again in a matter of days" as some hospitals are "already at capacity." 

 

Whitmer has been vocal about what she describes as her state's inability to access supplies to confront the virus. On March 28, the White House approved Michigan's request for an emergency declaration after President Donald Trump had traded multiple jabs with Whitmer online and on television as she raised criticisms over his handling of the crisis. 
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As of March 29, Michigan had identified at least 4,659 confirmed cases and 111 deaths.

Whitmer and Edwards are two of the governors who have bristled under the president's comments about measures like travel bans and lockdowns in addition to pushing Trump for expanded resources like under the Defense Production Act, which would employ private companies to manufacture needed medical supplies, including masks and ventilators. 

States have encouraged residents to abide by strict social distancing and isolation guidelines to reduce the chances of spreading infection and "flatten the curve" of rises in cases to avoid overwhelming hospitals.
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