Louisiana Governor Warns State’s Health System Could Be Overwhelmed in a Week

By Mimi Nguyen Ly
Mimi Nguyen Ly
Mimi Nguyen Ly
Mimi Nguyen Ly is a senior reporter for the Epoch Times. She covers U.S. news and world news. Contact her at mimi.nl@epochtimes.com
March 20, 2020Updated: March 21, 2020

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards on Thursday warned that without efforts to effectively contain the CCP virus, the state may not be able to adequately provide healthcare to its patients within a week.

The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mismanagement allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.

At President Donald Trump’s national conference call with governors, Edwards warned Trump of the “worst-case scenario” modeling.

“My fear, based on modeling I’ve received today, is that as early as seven days we can start to exceed our capacity to deliver healthcare,” he said.

He asked for help from the federal government including permission to send patients to a federally-run Veterans Affairs hospital in New Orleans.

“We’re going to do everything we can to mitigate and slow the spread, but in the time we have, we’ve got to increase our surge capacity. That is our biggest concern,” Edwards added.

Edwards said later during a news conference in Baton Rouge: “This is early, but our trajectory is basically the same as what they had in Italy. And if there’s anything I said today that ought to get people’s attention, it’s that.”

“If we are not going to look like Italy in 10 days or two weeks, it will only be because of these mitigation measures,” he added.

He also told reporters that if Louisiana’s residents don’t practice social distancing, the worst case could become reality.

There are 347 confirmed cases in Louisiana as of March 19. Ten people have died.

Trump has suggested that the Chinese communist regime is to blame for the virus, which has spread to more than 160 countries and territories around the world, killing thousands.

“It could have been stopped right where it came from, China,” Trump said during a White House press conference on Thursday. “The world is paying a very big price for what they did,” he said in reference to a question about CCP officials not sharing information sooner about the outbreak when it started.

“It would have been much better if we had known about this a number of months earlier,” the president said, adding that U.S. officials could have moved more quickly if the regime shared information earlier about the CCP virus, which emerged in Wuhan.

Human-to-human transmission of COVID-19 was occurring from at least mid-December 2019 in Wuhan, according to a paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Jan. 29.

The paper found that “there is evidence that human-to-human transmission has occurred among close contacts since the middle of December 2019.”

Chinese authorities did not confirm human-to-human transmission until Jan. 20—almost three weeks after the disease was first officially reported on Dec. 31, 2019. The first patient reported with the virus exhibited symptoms on Dec. 1.

The World Health Organization (WHO) stated there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission on Jan. 14.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.