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The number of people hospitalized across the United States as a result of the novel coronavirus illness (COVID-19) is reportedly only a fraction of what some health experts projected a few days ago. On Monday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters that in his state alone, the epicenter of the viral outbreak in the United States, new coronavirus hospitalizations dropped by about 75 percent, from 1,427 four days ago to 358 on Sunday. Highlighting the drop in new hospitalizations in NY, the state hardest hit (131,239 cases; 4,758 deaths as of Monday) by the coronavirus, Alex Berenson, former New York Times reporter who has been following the U.S. outbreak closely, observed on Twitter on Monday: “It’s over, guys. It’s already over.” Jim Malatras, an aide for Gov. Cuomo, reportedly indicated that projections are now showing that New York is unlikely to need 110,000 hospital beds, as previously thought. The new forecasts show “a much lower demand” that stands in the estimated 20,000-30,000 range, Jesse McKinley, the New York Times bureau chief in the NY capital of Albany, wrote on Twitter on Monday. That means the new projections for the number of hospital beds needed in NY are between about 70 and 80 percent lower than initially estimated. On Monday, Gov. Cuomo acknowledged that the drop in hospitalizations in combination with other signs, like the fatalities remaining flat for the second day in a row and a drop in intensive care unit (ICU) admissions, suggest a “possible flattening of the curve.”
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Dr. Anthony Fauci confirmed at the White House on Monday that new data from New York were showing promising signs of turning around the rise in coronavirus cases. Fauci cited the number of hospitalizations and admissions to intensive care leveling off in the last three days in New York as positive news. The statistics were also shared Monday afternoon from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “Everybody who knows me knows that I am very conservative about making projections, but those are the kind of good signs that you look for,” Fauci said, adding, “That’s the first thing you see when you start to see the turnaround.” Fauci notably shared optimism voiced by President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and Gov. Cuomo about the numbers, but warned the American people not to declare victory prematurely and urged to continue to keep the policies of social mitigation going. “We hope we are seeing a leveling off in the hottest spots of them all. So we will see,” Trump said, referring to New York during the briefing. “You will see it over the next few days. Let’s see what happens. But we are prepared.” Fauci said that New York numbers were a key indicator, as deaths from the virus skyrocketed in the region in recent weeks. If Americans continued practicing the federal guidelines, he said, other metropolitan areas could avoid the same high numbers as New York City. He praised the American people for their efforts and said that social distancing was working. “I don’t think anyone has ever mitigated the way I’m seeing people mitigate right now,” he said, noting he was “cautiously optimistic” about bringing the number of projected deaths down going forward.