Coronavirus: Desperate pleas for supplies continue

Health care workers continue to call on the federal government for personal protective equipment and life-saving ventilators as the death toll climbs. NBC's Alice Barr reports.

NEW YORK, N.Y. (NBC News) — As coronavirus cases explode across the country, the governor of New York is warning his state could see its peak in seven days, with only enough ventilators to last six.

He’s ordering the National Guard to commandeer the lifesaving machines from institutions that don’t need them.

At hospitals, overwhelmed healthcare workers are begging for supplies to save their patients.

The desperation shows the disconnect between the Trump administration’s optimistic claims they’re meeting state’s needs and the grim reality on the front lines.

“The cities around America with 300 cases should realize the only difference between them and New York is two weeks,” says Dr. Nate Link, chief medical officer at New York’s Bellevue Hospital.

Health experts now say the virus could spread through simply breathing or talking, and the White House is reportedly preparing to advise people to start wearing makeshift face coverings, while stressing that does not substitute for social distancing.

Meanwhile, several states still have not issued orders to stay home, even as the nation’s top infectious disease expert says there should be a nationwide order.

“If you look at what’s going on in this country, I just don’t understand why we’re not doing that. We really should be,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

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