“Those are not words I use lightly,” Gupta tweeted Thursday. “But when there’s more than 60,000 people in the hospital and we could lose more than 2,000 lives a day by Jan, there’s no other way to describe this.”
Gupta, during an appearance on CNN’s “New Day,” said the astonishing rise in daily COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations nationwide “is like a really fast-moving ship through the sea that we have to stop somehow.”
Some rural areas with low numbers of intensive care beds are “running out of options,” Gupta noted, and teams from Doctors Without Borders, the international humanitarian organization famed for assisting in conflict and disaster zones, were now coming into America.
Gupta acknowledged “nobody wants to hear” about a possible new lockdown to curb the spread of the contagion, but said “at some point it’s no longer our decision” if health care services are overwhelmed and can’t receive new patients.
His comments echoed those of Michael Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota and member of President-elect Joe Biden’s coronavirus advisory team, who this week warned America was “about to enter COVID hell.”
“The next three to four months are going to be, by far, the darkest of the pandemic,” Osterholm said Monday. “I don’t think America quite gets this yet. This is going to get much worse. This is not to scare people out of their wits. This is to scare people into their wits to understand that because we still have control. We can basically limit the contacts we have with people that will dramatically impact our ability of getting this disease.”