SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF/AP) — A day after Gov. Gavin Newsom revealed a surge in patients requiring ICU care around California, Dr. Anthony Fauci predicted between 100,000 to 200,000 could die from the coronavirus nationwide.
Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union”, Fauci — director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases — warned that between 100,000-200,000 could die during the upcoming surge as people in and around the country’s outbreak epicenter of New York were urged to limit their travel to contain the virus spread.
The dire prediction came a day after the San Francisco Bay Area’s deadliest day so far. Eight deaths were announced among coronavirus victims — 5 new fatalities in Santa Clara County, 2 in Alameda County and 1 in Contra Costa County.
Heading into Sunday morning, the Bay Area has had 1,779 confirmed coronavirus cases and 46 deaths. Santa Clara has been the hardest hit county with 591 cases and 25 deaths.
Fauci said as of Sunday morning, the U.S. had about 125,000 infections and 2,200 deaths.
On Saturday, Newsom joined San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo visiting a Bloom Energy storage facility in Sunnyvale that has been converted into a plant to refurbish hundreds of ventilators.
Newsom delivered a stunning announcement of his own when he meet with reporters after the tour. The governor said the number of people who have been hospitalized with the virus grew by nearly 40 percent from 746 people Friday to 1,034 Saturday.
He said the surge had contributed to a doubling of the patients reportedly admitted overnight to ICU units at hospitals across the state. But Newsom did not identify exactly how many of those patients were coronavirus victims.
“I know there is a lot of appropriate attention on how many (confirmed cases) there are,” Newsom said. “We look less to those numbers, more to the hospitalization and ICU numbers to drive our policy.”
Of the 10,000 ventilators California needs, Newsom told reporters, his staff has been able to obtained an additional 4,252. More are needed, the governor said, and even though the state has a request in for ventilators from the federal government, officials need to do what they can to acquire them independently.
“We have our ask in and we are not waiting to see that fulfilled,” he told reporters. “We are trying to repurpose what we have, and trying to find on the private market around the rest of the world those that we can source.”