Fauci says doctors in some states may have to decide who gets ICU treatment as infections surge

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Clinicians work on intubating a COVID-19 patient in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital on August 10, 2021 in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Hospitalizations for COVID-19 surpassed another record in the state yesterday to 2,720 with Louisiana as one of the nation’s epicenters while the spread of the Delta variant continues. More than ninety percent of Louisiana’s hospitalized COVID-19 patients are unvaccinated. Lake Charles Memorial currently holds 52 COVID-19 patients, 25 of whom are in the ICU. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

(WTVO) — The nation’s top disease expert has warned that some hospitals in the United States are “perilously close” to deciding which patients will get an ICU bed as Covid-19 infections continue to spread.

According to CNN, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director for the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, “You’re going to be in a situation where you’re going to have to make some very tough choices.”

On Sunday, eight states, including Alabama, Georgia, Texas, Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Nevada and Kentucky saw more than 90% of their adult ICU beds occupied.

Kentucky Gov. Beshear said the National Guard has been set to shore up hospitals in the state, to free up doctors to attend patients.

In Georgia, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital Director of Emergency Services Dr. James Black told CNN, “The emergency department is full and the hospital is full,” Black said. “Anytime a patient is discharged, we have patients waiting on those beds.”

Fauci said the best way to prevent doctors from having to make hard choices was to do everything we can do to prevent new infections,” including masking and vaccinations.

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