Gov. Gavin Newsom Tells Trump California Expects Over 25 Million Coronavirus Infections, Later Clarifies ‘Without Mitigation’
California Governor Gavin Newsom told President Donald Trump his state expects more than 25 million people to be infected with the coronavirus — in just the next eight weeks.
On Thursday, Gov. Newsome sent a letter to Trump in which he asked for a Navy hospital ship to be deployed to the state, and delivered some truly alarming projections about the spread of the disease in the Golden State:
I write to respectfully request you immediately deploy the USNS Mercy Hospital Ship to be stationed at the port of Los Angeles through September 1, 2020, to help decompress our current health care delivery system in Los Angeles region in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
As you know, California has been disproportionately impacted by repatriation efforts over the last few months. Our state and health care delivery system are significantly impacted by the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases. In the last 24 hours, we had 126 new COVID-19 cases, a 21 percent increase. In some parts of our state, our case rate is doubling every four days. Moreover, we have community acquired transmission in 23 counties with an increase of 44 community acquired infections in 24 hours. We project that roughly 56 percent of our population-25.5 million people—will be infected with the virus over an eight week period.
This resource will help decompress the health care delivery system to allow the Los Angeles region to ensure that it has the ability to address critical acute care needs, such as heart attacks and strokes or vehicle accidents, in addition to the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases. The population density in the Los Angeles Region is similar to New York City, will be disproportionately impacted by the number of COVID-19 cases.
I would ask that the US Navy coordinate with my Office of Emergency Services, through the Defense Coordinator Officer to rapidly deploy this asset.
Newsom’s office later clarified that the 25.5 million figure represented a projection “without mitigation.”
The USNS Mercy’s twin ship, the USNS Comfort, is currently undergoing maintenance in Norfolk, Virginia that the Pentagon says will delay its deployment to New York for several weeks, but the Mercy is ready to go. As of Thursday, however, the ship was expected to deploy to Seattle, Washington.
This post has been updated.
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