The United States could see coronavirus-related deaths “well into multiple hundreds of thousands” if there is no course correction, according to a warning from the Association of American Medical Colleges.
“We’re not on the right track right now,” AAMC chief scientific officer Dr. Ross McKinney Jr. told CNN’s Brianna Keilar.
McKinney also said the crisis is putting pressure on hospitals, especially those located in virus hotspots such as Arizona, Florida and Texas.
“The crisis is bad for hospitals. I’m hearing, some of our hospitals in areas like south Florida, that they’re actually filling up, but their staff is getting sick. As the their staff gets sick, there is no one to fill them in. So, people have to work extraordinarily long hours and as you get more tired you end up taking more risks, just because you make mistakes.So we’re really, we push in limits of what the health system can deliver … We are hitting the limit and as the disease hits staff, it is becoming even more crisis-ridden than it already was, ”he said.
The AAMC is calling for an increase in critical supplies, as well as to improve testing, reopen schools safely, expand health insurance and develop a vaccine distribution protocol.
The association is urging the Trump administration to invoke the Defense Production Act to address supply shortages.
“Essentially everywhere is short of critical supplies and we as a country have not systematically tried to improve our production of either PPE or the supplies that are needed by laboratories to meet the demands we have for The demands we have for PPE, ”said McKinney.
McKinney added that the AAMC is calling for national standards for local home visit orders and for the reopening of protocols.
Every city or state “doesn’t have to have the same degree of lockdown, but they have to use the same criteria to try to move from one phase to another, so that we can learn what the best standards to use are, we don’t change these the continuing waves of infections, “he said.
With reporting by Jason Hanna of CNN, Madeline Holcombe and Shelby Lin Erdman
See the full interview here: