Do hospitals have enough beds, ventilators and physicians for influx of coronavirus patients?

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A woman in a hospital bed. Photo credit: Parentingupstream via Pixabay

Nobody really knows how bad the coronavirus outbreak will be in the U.S. Most people who get it probably won’t require hospitalization. But vulnerable populations might require intensive care. Those groups include the elderly and people with underlying conditions. 

This could push the country’s hospital system toward the brink of disaster, especially since we’re still in flu season, as CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield told a House panel this morning. 

“Unfortunately, this virus is very similar in the sense that it’s a respiratory virus. So if you look at hospital capacity right now, much of it is full, up to 95, 96, 97%. So we really don’t have a lot of resilience in the capacity of our health system,” Redfield said.

Credits

Guest:
Jonathan Cohn - Senior National Correspondent at Huffington Post, where he writes about healthcare politics and policy - @CitizenCohn

Host:
Madeleine Brand

Producers:
Sarah Sweeney, Michell Eloy, Amy Ta, Alexandra Sif Tryggvadottir, Rosalie Atkinson, Brian Hardzinski, Angie Perrin, Caleigh Wells