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Houston Mayor Says City’s Hospitals Are ‘Overwhelmed’ With Coronavirus Patients

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner appeared on CBS’ Face the Nation on Sunday (July 5) to express his concern over the coronavirus that is plaguing his city.

Turner says the hospital system in Houston is close to becoming “overwhelmed” with patients during the recent spike in COVID-19 cases and says if they can’t get it under control, chaos could ensue.

“If we don’t get our hands around this virus quickly, in about two weeks our hospital system could be in serious, serious trouble,” he said.

Texas is just one of 40 states that is experiencing a heavy increase in coronavirus cases and has reversed an economic reopening due to it. In Houston, one in four people are testing positive for the virus, which is up from one in 10 people just a month ago.

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“This virus is an equal opportunity abuser. It will inflict anyone who comes in close proximity with it,” Turner said. “Now it’s having a [disproportionate] impact on people of color. And right now, it’s especially within the Hispanic community. But we are having young people being impacted as well.”

Turner says it was his state’s eagerness to reopen prematurely that primarily caused the spike in COVID-19 cases.

“From the beginning, when we started opening too quickly and when you layer that on top of everything else, all the other activities that were taking place and people starting to re-socialize, then you started to refuel the virus. And that’s when the numbers started to increase,” he said.

Texas isn’t the only state that’s experiencing a massive increase in coronavirus cases. Florida has seen a large jump and local leaders have begun imposing new restrictions on business to mitigate the spread of the disease.

“My residents also kind of let their guard down around late May, early June, and also some of the protests that we had here I think contributed to it,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giménez said on Face the Nation. “The virus is not harmless.”

Florida reported Sunday there are more than 200,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and 9,999 new cases among residents. In the U.S., there have been more than 2.8 million confirmed cases and 129,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

For the latest on the coronavirus, check out BET’s blog on the virus, and contact your local health department or visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.


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