How did that happen?
“What we have right now are essentially three New Yorks,” said White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx on Today Friday, referring to the onetime epicenter of the pandemic in the nation — if not the world.
On Thursday, the hot spots of California, Texas and Florida accounted for one-third of the new cases reported nationwide. Earlier in the week, California passed New York as the state with the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country, topping 400,000 infections.
Florida found its own sad distinction with respect to New York, topping the Big Apple as the state with the largest single-day increase in new cases, with 15,299 last week.
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And in Texas, one overwhelmed county near the border announced this week that it was creating committees to review patients’ cases and send the worst off “home to die by their loved ones.”
“Unfortunately, Starr County Memorial Hospital has limited resources and our doctors are going to have to decide who receives treatment, and who is sent home to die by their loved ones,” County Judge Eloy Vera wrote on Facebook post Thursday. “This is what we did not want our community to experience.”
On Wednesday, Birx warned about rising crises in 11 cities, hoping to spur effective action before the pandemic overran efforts there. She said Baltimore, Cleveland, Columbus, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Miami, Minneapolis, Nashville, New Orleans, Pittsburgh and St. Louis need to take “aggressive” steps immediately to avoid becoming the next hot spots.
“Until you can see that explosion, it’s hard for people to understand how deeply you have to clamp down,” Birx said. “That’s why we called out the next set of cities where we see early-warning signs, because if you make changes now, you won’t become a Phoenix.”