In your coronavirus Google searches you've probably come across headlines suggesting that the U.S. is experiencing a dearth of ventilators and that our hospitals are going to be so overwhelmed with patients that they are going to have to start deciding who lives and who dies.
Hopefully you also tuned in to Tuesday's coronavirus task force briefing, where Dr. Deborah Birx calmly put those fears to rest. She used numbers out of the UK to reassure Americans that we are not in dire straits.
"I don't know if you heard the report this morning, there are 8,000 ventilators in the UK," she said. "If you translate that to United States, that would be like the United States having less than 40,000 ventilators. We have five times that."
She shared some helpful numbers earlier in the week as well.
“We were reassured in meeting with our colleagues in New York that there are still ICU beds remaining and there are still significant, over 1,000 or 2,000 ventilators that have not been utilized yet,” Dr. Birx explained.
Dr. Birx just as soundly upended the misleading reports that Do-Not-Resuscitate situations are spiking. She urged the media to be more careful because they "don't have evidence" on that.
Dr. Birx on ventilators in New York: "To wake up this morning and look at people talking about creating DNR situations, Do-Not-Resuscitate situations for patients -- there is no situation in the United States right now that warrants that kind of discussion." pic.twitter.com/I3tcEMIPZe— CSPAN (@cspan) March 26, 2020
It was bit jarring to hear Dr. Birx ask Americans to prepare for a sobering 100,000 deaths in the coming weeks, based on data out of New York City, the hardest hit region in the nation. These next two weeks, Trump said, are going to be especially "painful." But he and his task force promised that they are doing everything in their power to lower that number.
"I'm not about bad news," Trump said. "I want to give people hope. I want to give people the feeling that we all have a chance."