Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti issued a chilling warning about the toll the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic will take on his city and beyond.
Garcetti called the projections “horrifying” and said they were keeping leaders around the nation awake at night.
“Will we have hundreds of thousands of deaths, or tens of thousands of deaths? That’s what keeps us up,” he told Business Insider. “These are people who all know, who each one of us will know. It’ll be our friends, it’ll be our family, it’ll be people whom we love dearly.”
He said the stay-at-home orders in L.A. won’t be lifted by Easter, as President Donald Trump has said, but will last at least two months ― and warned against false optimism.
“Giving people false hope will crush their spirits and will kill more people,” he said. “Will crush their spirits, will revert their actions, and will kill more people.”
Read his full interview here.
In a press conference on Thursday, Garcetti also said Los Angeles could soon see enough cases to rival New York City, which is now the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States with more than 23,000 confirmed infections and 365 deaths.
Speaking at a news conference, Garcetti called the footage of overwhelmed hospitals from New York “the most haunting images any leader could see, and it’s difficult for me to imagine that it won’t happen here.”
And he said it won’t be limited to New York and Los Angeles.
“There is no place in America that will not be overwhelmed in terms of the number of patients who need ICU and other hospital beds, and how many we have in this country,” he said. “There is no place that won’t be overwhelmed by needing more ventilators and not having enough.”
Governors and public health officials around the nation have said they need thousands of ventilators for coronavirus patients.
Trump on Thursday said he didn’t believe the numbers.
“You know, you go into major hospitals sometimes, they’ll have two ventilators,” he said. “And now all of a sudden they’re saying can we order 30,000 ventilators?”
Trump’s comments came hours after the United States surpassed China to become the country with most coronavirus cases. There have been more than 82,000 confirmed infections and more than 1,000 deaths attributed to the virus.
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