In an exclusive interview, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti pushed back against optimism in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak. “Giving people false hope will crush their spirits and will kill more people,” he said.
The mayor told Business Insider that the worst is yet to come. “The main horrifying thing that I think is keeping every local leader awake is the projection of how many people will get this, the projection of what the mortality rate will be, and how many dead we will have.”
Shelter-in-place restrictions will be needed for at least two months, Garcetti said, and residents should “be prepared for longer.”
At least 13,000 of Los Angeles’ poorest residents continue to live on the streets, the mayor confirmed, with shelter beds limited by the need to maintain social distancing. On Skid Row, he warned, the novel coronavirus could spread like “wildfire.”
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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti wants people to have hope amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and to recognize the human kindness that can arise in times of tragedy. But in an exclusive interview, he told Business Insider a “premature optimism” that isn’t grounded in data will only cost more lives.
And the data, he said, paint a grim picture — both for Los Angeles, and for the rest of the country.
Millions in the city are expected to remain in their home for the next couple months, and thousands of the poorest residents are still sleeping on the streets. Across the country, he said, a failure to engage in social distancing could cost hundreds of thousands of lives.
In a wide-ranging interview, Garcetti told Business Insider that Los Angeles does not have the medical resources needed to prepare for the coming influx of critically ill patients; that residents will soon be confronted with an unprecedented number of deaths among their friends and family; and that, while humanity is resilient, the crisis will fundamentally alter life in the city.
The transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.
Business Insider: I was listening to your press conference last night and you said that Los Angeles is anywhere from six to 12 days from the tragedy that we’re seeing unfold in New York City. From your perspective, what should we be expecting?
Mayor Eric Garcetti: Well, numerically … I have to get the numbers correct, but the number of cases we have for a county of 10 million people versus the number of cases they have in New York City with about 8.36 million people, if you do that per capita, we’re about, depending on how you exhume the rate of increase here is, it’s anywhere from about six to 12 days.
I hope that implementation earlier of social distancing in our curve will pay some dividends, but nobody that I’ve talked to from the medical, hospital, and data communities believe that we won’t hit a point in which cases overwhelm our ability to treat them. So there’s going to be really tough days ahead in which we’re very hurriedly trying to …read more
Source:: Businessinsider – Politics