Democratic senators ask White Home to organize for a double dose of flu and coronavirus in fall

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“The mix of a COVID-19 resurgence with the annual flu outbreak is more likely to pressure the well being care system even additional, requiring even higher provides, funding, and workers than our hospitals have wanted so far, whereas inserting an unprecedented burden on our public well being techniques,” the senators, organized by Massachusetts Democrats Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, wrote in a letter addressed to Vice President Mike Pence, head of the White Home Coronavirus Job Pressure.

“The federal authorities should put together now for this alarming situation,” the senators wrote of their letter, launched solely to CNN.

A number of specialists have warned that coronavirus might unleash a recent onslaught within the fall, and mix with the common look of seasonal influenza. US Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield informed the Monetary Instances newspaper Thursday that Covid-19 might “reground” itself within the northern hemisphere within the autumn.

“President Trump has deemed these warnings as ‘pretend information,’ ” the 15 senators wrote.

“His downplaying of the risk is irresponsible: the failure to organize for this recognized threat might end in many pointless deaths. We urge you to start planning for and activating the assets of the federal authorities now to extend capability, provides, and vaccinations to forestall public well being and medical techniques from being overwhelmed by simultaneous peaks of each of those lethal infectious illnesses within the fall.”

Additionally signing the letter have been Democratic Sens. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Tina Smith of Minnesota, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, Patty Murray of Washington, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Jack Reed of Rhode Island and Jacky Rosen of Nevada.

Already overwhelmed hospitals

Earlier on Thursday a panel of emergency room medical doctors, nurses, emergency medical technicians and others described to the Home Choose Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Disaster how overwhelmed they and their hospitals have been by the pandemic, which has killed greater than 98,000 Individuals.

Including flu to the combination couldn’t solely enhance the toll, however worsen the pressure on hospitals. Flu kills between 12,000 and 61,000 individuals a 12 months, relying on the season, and places as many as 800,000 individuals into the hospital. Already this 12 months, coronavirus has contaminated greater than 1.5 million Individuals.

“Earlier extreme flu outbreaks by themselves have stretched the capability of our well being care system, resulting in shortages of hospital beds and nurses,” the senators wrote.

“The COVID-19 pandemic, which arrived within the U.S. close to the top of this 12 months’s flu season, has required hospitals to function at most capability, mobilizing extra workers and creating discipline hospitals to deal with the overflow of sufferers.”

The senators mentioned the US wants to start out a flu vaccination marketing campaign to attempt to cut back the toll this coming flu season. The CDC recommends that nearly everybody get a flu shot yearly however fewer than half of Individuals do.

“This effort shall be difficult if sufferers are reluctant to go to their main care physicians for routine well being care or different suppliers from whom they could search vaccination due to the danger of publicity to COVID-19,” they wrote.

The nation additionally wants to start out stocking up on vaccines and different tools now, they mentioned.

“The federal authorities was unprepared for the COVID-19 outbreak and, consequently, our frontline well being care staff have been put in danger on account of shortages of non-public protecting tools (PPE), and the COVID-19 outbreak has exploded due to a scarcity of provides wanted to make sure wide-scale testing,” they wrote.

“Now could be the time to extend manufacturing and buying of important tools.”

The senators requested Pence to reply by June 3.


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