The weeks ahead will likely see peak coronavirus outbreaks and hospitalisations in the U.S., with the death rate also set to sharply climb, public health officials warned on Sunday.
The warning came amid renewed pleas by state governors for more medical equipment.
States like New York, Louisiana and Illinois said they were facing shortages of key items like ventilators.
“The military is due to deploy some 1,100 troops to New York to help set up makeshift hospitals and staff existing medical facilities,’’ Secretary of Defense Mark Esper told CNN on Sunday.
New York is currently the epicentre, with about a third of more than 312,000 cases across the U.S., there are over 8,500 deaths nationwide.
“This is going to be the hardest and saddest week of most Americans’ lives quite frankly,’’ Surgeon General Jerome Adams said on the Fox network.
Adams’ remarks echoed President Donald Trump, who warned the country was heading into its “toughest week” in the coming days.
“There will be a lot of death, unfortunately,’’ Trump said.
Gov. JB Pritzker of Illinois told CNN that he expected the Midwestern state to start peaking meanwhile, New York is still in its apex in two weeks.
However, Pritzker put a strain on resources like ventilators which would otherwise be shared and moved around the country based on need.
Pritzker, an outspoken critic of the Federal Government, said the White House did not move swiftly enough early this year to start physical distancing programmes.
He added that it did not also move early in producing more medical equipment, in spite of having intelligence pointing to a coming outbreak.
“They seemed not to act at all,’’ he said.