White House officials said Sunday that parts of the country will soon reach a peak in cases of the novel coronavirus, as hospitals in high-infection areas brace for a surge in both patients and deaths.
Although President Trump hailed a one-day decline in deaths in the New York region, predictions from other officials were far more grim.
“This is going to be the hardest and saddest week of most Americans’ lives,” U.S. surgeon general Jerome M. Adams said. “This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment, only it’s not going to be localized. It’s going to be happening all over the country.”
His warning comes amid extraordinary scenes inside hospitals and mounting fatalities across the country. Deaths related to the virus have pushed past 9,500, as of late on Sunday evening, though federal officials acknowledge the true count is certainly higher due to a shortage of tests.
Trump has urged states to share any spare ventilators with others, but a national scramble for supplies may still leave the nation’s epicenters far short. New York’s supply will last an additional 48 to 72 hours, local officials have warned, while Louisiana could run out as soon as Thursday.
Trump also continued to push hydroxychloroquine as a way to treat and prevent the virus, even though the FDA has given only limited emergency use authorization for the drug. Rudolph W. Giuliani, his unpaid private attorney, has also been promoting the use of an anti-malarial drug combination in phone calls.
Across the Atlantic, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to a hospital because of “persistent” coronavirus symptoms, after testing positive 10 days ago. And in a rare broadcast, Queen Elizabeth II called on the British people to show their self-discipline and quiet resolve during the pandemic.