‘It’s a natural disaster occurring in all 50 states at the same time’: Leading physician gives dire warning as post-Thanksgiving hospitalizations hit a record 93,238, Fauci warns of a ‘surge upon a surge’ and millions head home after the holidays

  • US coronavirus hospitalizations have nearly doubled in the last month – reaching 93,238 on Sunday 
  • Dr. Megan Ranney said hospitals are in crisis without adequate beds, staff, supplies or national preparation 
  • She said in her home state of Rhode Island, a field hospital will open on Tuesday, but not all states can do this
  • 16 states reported record seven-day averages for daily new cases on Thursday and Friday
  • Nationwide, 155,596 new cases and 1,189 deaths were reported on Saturday
  • Cases, deaths and hospitalizations are expected to skyrocket due to Thanksgiving gatherings and travel
  • Dr Celine Gounder, a member of Joe Biden’s COVID-19 advisory board, also offered a grave warning Saturday
  • She said cases will spike in the next two weeks, followed by hospitalizations and deaths in the weeks after  
  • ‘Many people who celebrated with family, with friends over Thanksgiving will find themselves in the hospital, in ICUs over Christmas and New Years,’ Gounder said
  • Dr Anthony Fauci also warned that irresponsible Thanksgiving gatherings could lead to ‘a surge superimposed upon that surge that we’re already in’ on Sunday 

A leading physician gave a dire warning that the coronavirus is ‘a natural disaster occurring in all 50 states at the same time’ on Sunday, after millions passed through US airports for Thanksgiving against CDC advice.

Emergency medicine physician Dr. Megan Ranney sounded the alarm as the number of COVID-19 patients currently being treated in hospitals across the United States nearly doubled in the last month, hitting more than 93,000 over the Thanksgiving weekend, as virus deaths approach spring records.

Meanwhile, Dr Anthony Fauci warned that irresponsible Thanksgiving gatherings could lead to a ‘surge superimposed upon that surge that we’re already in’, after roughly six million people passed through U.S. airports for the holidays.

Dr Ranney – who works at the Rhode Island Hospital and is an associate professor at Brown University – told CNN: ‘There’s no way that the hospitals can be fully prepared for what we’re currently facing.

‘This is like a natural disaster occurring in all 50 states at the same time. There are not adequate beds. There are not adequate staff. And because of the lack of national preparation, there are still not adequate supplies.’ 

She said in Rhode Island, plans are underway to open a field hospital on Tuesday because hospitals in the state are reaching their capacity of patients sick from the virus, but added that not every state has the same option.

‘And even if you open a field hospital, if you have hundreds of staff who are sick – which is what many states across the country are currently facing – if you don’t have nurses and doctors and respiratory techs, even a field hospital isn’t going to save you,’ she said.

‘Our health care system is literally at the breaking point right now, thanks to Covid-19.’ 

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As of Sunday 93,238 Americans were hospitalized with the virus, according to the COVID Tracking Project. Pictured: A woman walks past an outdoor dining area in New York City’s SoHo district. The pandemic continues to burden restaurants and bars as businesses struggle to thrive with evolving government restrictions and social distancing plans

Patrons dine, socially distanced, inside a makeshift outdoor dining area at a restaurant in San Francisco, California. Emergency medicine physician Dr. Megan Ranney has warned that the coronavirus is ‘a natural disaster occurring in all 50 states at the same time’

Doctors and health officials fear the US is in for a dark few weeks with cases and deaths expected to climb rapidly after millions of Americans traveled for Thanksgiving against the advice of public health officials. Pictured: Travelers pass through security screening at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on November 29

Another expert – Dr. Peter Hotez, who specialises in tropical medicine and teaches molecular virology – also warned the network that the U.S. is approaching daily death figures that were seen during the Spanish Flu of 1918.

‘We’re going to be regularly hitting 2,000 deaths per day, but then going up to 3,000 deaths and 4,000 deaths,’ he said. ‘The numbers that are approaching what we experienced in the 1918 flu pandemic, except it’s happening over a much shorter period of time. 

‘This is going to be very destabilizing for the country, not only in terms of health, but also our economy, as well as our homeland security.’  

April 15 saw the country reach its peak virus deaths for a single 24-hour period, with 2,752 people across the country reported to have succumbed to the virus. If Hotez’s prediction is correct, then the U.S. is on track to break that grim record in the coming months.

As of Sunday 93,238 Americans were hospitalized with the virus, according to the COVID Tracking Project. 

As of Sunday 93,238 Americans were hospitalized with the virus, according to the COVID Tracking Project. The project said that other statistics, such as number of deaths, are being under-reported because many states have not been releasing numbers over the holiday weekend

The number of COVID-19 patients currently being treated in hospitals across the US nearly doubled in the last month, reaching 93,238 on Sunday, according to the COVID Tracking Project 

The rate of hospitalizations – now at the highest level since the pandemic began – comes after weeks of rising infection rates nationwide, with 16 states reporting record seven-day averages for daily new cases on Thursday and Friday.  

Doctors and health officials fear the US is in for a dark few weeks with cases and deaths expected to climb rapidly because of holiday gatherings and travel.

With many hospitals on the verge of exceeding capacity, many patients – including those without coronavirus – face the prospect of not being treated due to inadequate staffing and equipment. 

Roughly six million people passed through U.S. airports, despite the CDC’s travel warning in the week leading up to Thanksgiving, but it will be weeks before the true extent of the impact Thanksgiving travel will have on coronavirus hospitalizations and deaths. 

Dr Celine Gounder, a member of President-elect Joe Biden’s COVID-19 advisory board, offered a grave warning about spikes on Saturday.

‘We fully expect that in about a week or two after Thanksgiving we will see an increase in cases first, then about a week or two later you’ll start to see an increase in hospitalizations, and then another week or two after that you’ll start to see deaths,’ Gounder told CBS News, noting that symptoms of the virus can develop up to 14 days after exposure.  

‘Unfortunately, that means that many people who celebrated with family, with friends over Thanksgiving will find themselves in the hospital, in ICUs over Christmas and New Years,’ she added. 

Nationwide 155,596 new cases and 1,189 deaths were reported Saturday, bringing the totals to over 13.4 million and 266,594, respectively, as of Sunday afternoon

https://youtube.com/watch?v=9FX3Jvk07mA%3Frel%3D0%26showinfo%3D1

Nationwide 155,596 new cases and 1,189 deaths were reported on Saturday, bringing the totals to over 13.4 million and 266,594, respectively, as of Sunday afternoon. Daily figures over the past few days have been skewed by inconsistencies in reporting around Thanksgiving.

Emergency medicine physician Dr. Megan Ranney (pictured) gave a dire warning on Sunday, saying the coronavirus is ‘a natural disaster occurring in all 50 states at the same time’

Health experts and politicians pleaded with Americans to avoid gathering for traditional communal Thanksgiving feasts this year, warning that socializing between households would accelerate the rate of community transmission and put even more stress on an already overwhelmed healthcare system. 

While some heeded those warnings and spent Thanksgiving with family via video calls, others chose to travel anyway.  

On the day before Thanksgiving, typically one of the busiest travel days of the year in the United States, more than 1.07 million people passed through US airports – the most of any single day since the start of the pandemic, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

Nearly six million Americans traveled by air in the week leading up to Thanksgiving, the TSA said, a number that is however less than half that of the same period last year. 

While it will take weeks for the holiday fallout to become clear, the numbers in many states are already concerning.  

Thirty states posted record daily new cases in the days before Thanksgiving and 16 reported record seven-day averages for new cases on Thursday and Friday. Those 16 are: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Kansas, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington and West Virginia. 

The seven-day rolling average for US deaths is currently just over 1,400 and the average for daily infections is just shy of 160,400. 

Meanwhile, in New York City, schools have been given the green-light to re-open again in December by Mayor Bill de Blasio, after they were shut down for a second time causing parents to complain that bars and restaurants were allowed to open, but not schools.

In California, a new three-week lockdown will be imposed in Los Angeles country from Monday, which will see a ban on most public gatherings and a limit applied to the number of people allowed inside shops at once.

The US has recorded more than 100,000 new cases each day for the past 25 days 

US deaths are expected to spike in the coming weeks, with the CDC predicting up to 321,000 by December 19

On the day before Thanksgiving more than 1.07 million people passed through US airports – the most of any single day since the start of the pandemic, according to the Transportation Security Administration. Pictured: Passengers line up at Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport on the eve of Thanksgiving

With cases, hospitalizations and deaths already skyrocketing across the US, health officials are warning the worst is yet to come given the true impact of Thanksgiving travel and gatherings won’t be seen for a few weeks like with other holidays 

Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned on Sunday that the US could experience ‘a surge superimposed upon that surge that we’re already in’ as a result of people ignoring guidance about Thanksgiving gatherings.

But Fauci emphasized that ‘it’s not too late to do something about this’, urging people to be careful as they travel back home and adhere to quarantine guidelines.  

He said he expects vaccines to be rolled out by the end of December, which could help curb the spread of the virus as well.  

‘If we can hang together as a country and do these kinds of things to blunt these surges until we get a substantial proportion of the population vaccinated, we can get through this,’ Fauci told Meet The Press. 

‘There really is light at the end of the tunnel.’

Dr Deborah Birx, a leading member of the White House coronavirus task force, also stressed the importance of post-holiday precautions on Sunday. 

‘We know people may have made mistakes over the Thanksgiving time period,’ Birx told CBS News. ‘If you’re young and you gathered, you need to be tested about five to 10 days later. But you need to assume that you’re infected and not go near your grandparents and aunts and others without a mask.’

Birx acknowledged that coronavirus-related restrictions and rules vary across different parts of the country and called on Americans to take their health into their own hands and heed the advice of experts. 

‘To every American, this is the moment to protect yourself and your family,’ she said. ‘So if your governor or your mayor isn’t doing the policies that we know are critical — masking, physical distancing, avoiding bars, avoiding crowded indoor areas — if those restrictions don’t exist in your state, you need to take it upon yourself to be restricted. You need to not go to these places. You need to protect your family now.’  

Dr Celine Gounder, a member of President-elect Joe Biden’s COVID-19 advisory board, warned on Saturday that many Americans who celebrated Thanksgiving with family and friends could end up in the hospital or ICU by Christmas


Dr Anthony Fauci (left) warned on Sunday that the US could experience ‘a surge superimposed upon that surge that we’re already in’ as a result of people ignoring guidance about Thanksgiving gatherings. And Dr Deborah Birx (right) urged anyone who attended Thanksgiving gatherings to assume they were exposed to the virus and get tested

Gounder, an infectious diseases specialist and epidemiologist at NYU’s Grossman School of Medicine, pointed out how big of a toll surges could take on hospitals and their staffs in the coming weeks as she pleaded for people to be responsible. 

‘Healthcare workers have now been fighting this for months, they too would like a break for the holidays to see their own family within their household bubbles,’ she told CBS News.  

‘Normally we have skeleton crews functioning in the hospital to allow for that to happen. Unfortunately, I think some people are going to find themselves having to work the holidays to meet the surge.’

Surgeon General Jerome Adams (pictured) joined his fellow health officials in highlighting the importance of preventing hospitals from being overwhelmed on Sunday, three days after revealing on Twitter that both his wife and his mother were recently hospitalized

Surgeon General Jerome Adams joined his fellow health officials in highlighting the importance of preventing hospitals from being overwhelmed on Sunday, three days after revealing on Twitter that both his wife and his mother were recently hospitalized.  

‘Wearing a mask … will protect my mother and you,’ Adams told Fox News host Brett Baier. 

‘My mother is in the hospital right now. I want people to understand that if cases and hospitalizations continue to go up, not only will it hurt our ability to care for Covid patients, but if someone is having a baby, they may not be able to get a bed. If someone is having a heart attack or potential stroke like my mother, they may not be able to get a bed.’ 

America’s hospitalization rate has risen steadily over the past three weeks, which saw 17 straight days of record daily increases from November 10.   

Total current hospitalizations breached 91,000 just two days after a CDC forecast predicted that the US could see another 57,000 COVID-19 deaths in the next two weeks, with a total of 294,000 to 321,000 by December 19. 

In that week alone, there is forecast to be up 21,000 deaths reported. The agency creates its forecast using predictions from 36 modeling groups across the country.  

America’s hospitalization rate has risen steadily over the past three weeks, which saw 17 straight days of record daily increases from November 10. Pictured: A medical staff member tends to a COVID-19 patient at United Memorial Medical Center in Houston, Texas, on Thanksgiving

In an effort to mitigate the winter COVID-19 wave, more than 20 states have issued new restrictions, including mask mandates and limiting capacity of bars, restaurants and houses of worship.

The US Supreme Court ruled against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s restrictions on religious gatherings on Wednesday, voting 5-4 late in favor of requests by a Roman Catholic Diocese and two Orthodox Jewish congregations for an injunction to block the capacity restrictions from being enforced.

Cuomo dismissed the ruling as ‘irrelevant’, saying it related to houses of worship in specific areas that were no longer considered at high risk. 

However, the ruling could have broader implications for houses of worship appealing capacity restrictions elsewhere.

Earlier last week, Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser said the latest COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings in the nation’s capital also applied to indoor religious services, reducing capacity from 100 people to 50 people, with a maximum 50 percent. 

It was not immediately clear if the curbs would be challenged following the Supreme Court ruling.   

The CDC’s latest forecast is predicting a total of 294,000 to 321,000 COVID-19 deaths by December 19. In that week alone, there is forecast to be up 21,000 deaths reported. The agency creates its forecast using predictions from 36 modeling groups across the country

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