Dr. Fauci Just Said This State's COVID Situation Is "Unimaginable"
Fauci said the U.S. is in a "very difficult situation right now" overall, but he singled out this state.
The COVID surge in the U.S. has dragged on into the new year with no end in sight. While most of the nation is combating COVID spikes, some areas have more of an uphill battle than others. Right now, the rates of new cases per capita are highest in three states, Arizona, Rhode Island, and California, not just in the U.S. but of any area in the world. However, during a new interview on Jan. 7, Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), singled out one of those states as particularly concerning: California. To see why Fauci referred to California's COVID situation as "unimaginable," read on, and for a full look at how the country is doing, check out This Is How Bad the COVID Outbreak Is in Your State.
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Fauci said California is facing an "unimaginable" COVID situation.
During an interview with Washington University Internal Medicine on Jan. 7, Fauci commented on the worsening situation in California. "There are some regions of the country that are really getting to the point of what we consider the unimaginable where you actually have to triage and determine who's going to get taken care of and who's not," said Fauci. "I refer specifically to the very difficult situation that's going on in California."
Fauci added that he was speaking particularly about Los Angeles County "where they are running out of beds, and they have an exhausted staff working almost 24 hours a day." Earlier this week, as a sign of how stretched hospitals are, reports emerged that Los Angeles EMS workers were being told not to transfer patients to the ER who experience cardiac arrest or those who have a low chance of survival.
The NIAID director went on to describe what is happening in California as a truly "extraordinary situation." And for more up-to-date COVID news delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
California's hospitals are nearly at capacity.
California's hospitals are completely overwhelmed by the volume of COVID patients seeking care, with ICUs across the state currently at 87 percent capacity. The state is also experiencing an oxygen shortage, according to The New York Times. Additionally, there are more than twice as many COVID patients in California hospitals now than there were at this time last month. To see if the new strain of COVID is in your state, check out The New COVID Strain Is Now in These 8 States.
California's new case rate is four times higher than it was during the summer surge.
California saw a scary surge of COVID cases over the summer, but The New York Times reports that the state's new case rate is currently four times higher than it was during that surge. To see what Fauci said about yet another new virus variant that's circulating, check out Dr. Fauci Just Issued This Warning About Another New COVID Strain.
Fauci said "things could actually get a bit worse" across the country.
Before singling out California, Fauci said the U.S. as a whole is struggling to combat COVID. "We are in a very, very difficult situation right now," said Fauci. "The numbers are so extraordinary that we've become numb to them. As of yesterday, there have been 360,000 deaths… Every day is a new record for the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19."
He added: "The numbers that I gave you are very difficult to comprehend—they're extraordinary—and yet things could actually get a bit worse." And for more on what's to come, check out Dr. Fauci Just Made a Scary Admission About the COVID Surge.