Newsom Says Over Half of Californians Will Get the Wuhan Virus in 8 Weeks

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Posted: Mar 19, 2020 9:27 PM
Newsom Says Over Half of Californians Will Get the Wuhan Virus in 8 Weeks

Source: Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP

In a letter to President Trump on Thursday, California Governor Gavin Newsom said that 56 percent of people living in California, around 25.5 million residents, will be infected with the COVID-19 virus in eight weeks. The governor made the dire prediction while requesting assistance from President Trump. 

"As you know, California has been disproportionately impacted by repatriation efforts over the last few months," the governor wrote. "Our state and health care delivery system are significantly impacted by the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases. In the last 24 hours, we had 126 new COVID-19 cases, a 21 percent increase. In some parts of our state, our case rate is doubling every four days. Moreover, we have community acquired transmission in 23 counties with an increase of 44 community acquired infections in 24 hours. We project that roughly 56 percent of our population -- 25.5 million people -- will be infected with the virus over an eight-week period."

It's not clear whether the governor's dire prediction pertained to the next eight weeks or an eight-week period sometime in the future.

A spokesperson for the governor said the 56% projection did not take into account mitigation efforts that will help slow the spread of the virus. 

With the number of COVID-19 cases rising in the Golden State, the governor is asking the president to send one of two Navy hospital ships to the port of Los Angeles to help relieve some of the pressure on the state's health care system. 

"I write to respectfully request you immediately deploy the USNS Mercy Hosptial Ship to be stationed in the Port of Los Angeles through September 1, 2020, to help decompress our current health care delivery system in Los Angeles region in response to the COVID-19 outbreak," Newsom wrote to President Trump. 

Trump announced on Wednesday that two navy ships would be made available to help relieve the nation's health care system that is expected to be overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases. The ships would not be used to treat COVID-19 patients but would be available to address other medical needs, the Navy said in a statement. Both ships have around 1,000 beds and 12 fully-equipped operating rooms.