Mayor warns coronavirus could become “endless war”

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ATLANTA (CBS46) — Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms pushed back against President Donald Trump’s assertion Thursday that some of the requests from states and cities for ventilators are excessive and not needed.

In a CNN interview Friday, Mayor Bottoms said President Trump needed to pay attention to the front line health care workers who are trying to stave off an even larger pandemic from gripping the United States.

“What I would just say is we talk about ending endless wars; this could become an endless war for us if we don’t take this seriously and stop the spread,” Mayor Bottoms said Friday. “It’s a small thing to ask (shelter-in-place/home) to not have this become a prolonged battle for the country as a whole.”

Thursday night, Trump drew scorn on social media after telling Fox News pundit Sean Hannity, “I have a feeling that a lot of the numbers that are being said in some area are just bigger than they’re going to be. I don’t believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators. You know, you go into major hospitals sometimes and they’ll have two ventilators. And now all of a sudden they’re saying, ‘Can we order 30,000 ventilators.'”

Trump’s comments came as the New York Times released a report saying the White House had a plan in place with GM to produce tens of thousands of ventilators after administration officials balked at a cost estimate of more than $1 billion, less than a tenth of the cost of stimulus bill passing Congress.

Mayor Bottoms told CNN Atlanta’s supplies are okay, but anything could change.

Right now, our supply is stable,” Bottoms said. “Some hospitals have already tapped into their stockpiles…ICU beds are already around 90% full. We will exceed our capacity by May 3. The car accidents, diabetes, strokes, they also don’t stop during this pandemic. This virus can hit all of us or at least someone in our household.”

The mayor told CNN she hopes Atlanta’s surrounding cities will enact similar shelter-in-place orders for the next few weeks as she did for the City of Atlanta.

“It seems to be working well inside Atlanta,” Bottoms said.

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