Covid-19 crisis in US is 'humanitarian disaster', health experts say

2020-11-12 18:42:43
Covid-19 crisis in US is 'humanitarian disaster', health experts say

The U.S. hit a record number of coronavirus hospitalizations Tuesday and surpassed 1 million new confirmed cases in just the first 10 days of November amid a nationwide surge of infections that shows no signs of slowing.

"This is a humanitarian disaster -- probably one of the worst stories I've covered in my career here at CNN," the network's Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta said Thursday.

Workers from Doctors Without Borders are trying to help the U.S. get a grip on the pandemic, Gupta said.

More than 241,000 people have died from coronavirus across the U.S., a number that is rapidly growing every day.

Newly confirmed infections in the U.S. were running at all-time highs of well over 100,000 per day, pushing the total to more than 10 million. There are now 61,964 people hospitalized.

The new wave appears bigger and more widespread than the surges that happened in the spring and summer — and threatens to be worse.

Several US states posted records Tuesday, including over 12,600 new cases in Illinois, 10,800 in Texas and 7,000 in Wisconsin.

Deaths — a lagging indicator, since it takes time for people to get sick and die — are climbing again, reaching an average of more than 930 a day.

Hospitals are getting slammed. And unlike the earlier outbreaks, this one is not confined to a region or two.

“The virus is spreading in a largely uncontrolled fashion across the vast majority of the country,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious-disease expert at Vanderbilt University.

Governors made increasingly desperate pleas for people to take the fight against the virus more seriously.

The autumn surge has been blamed largely on cold weather driving people inside and disdain for masks and social distancing, stoked by President Donald Trump and other politicians.

The short-term outlook is grim, with colder weather and Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's ahead

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