November 12, 2020 at 12:23 AM EST
As coronavirus soars, hospitals hope to avoid an agonizing choice: Who gets care and who goes home
By Darryl Fears, Joel Achenbach and Brittney Martin
The coronavirus pandemic is rolling across America like a great crimson wave.
In Illinois, the rate of new infections is so high that a group of doctors sent an urgent letter to the governor. “We’re having to almost decide who gets treatment and who doesn’t,” said one of its leaders.
In Ohio, the rapid spread of the virus has pushed the state health-care system to the brink. Expressing deep concern, Gov. Mike DeWine (R) vowed to enforce his statewide mask mandate and issued new restrictions on social gatherings. “We can’t surrender to this virus. We can’t let it run wild,” he said.
And in Iowa, where a record number of new infections in a day coincided with a record number of deaths, the White House coronavirus task force issued a dire warning about “the unyielding covid spread” throughout the state.
The number of new daily coronavirus cases in the United States jumped from 104,000 a week earlier to more than 145,000 on Wednesday, an all-time high. Nearly every metric is trending in the wrong direction, prompting states to add new restrictions and hospitals to prepare for a potentially dark future.