Coronavirus: New worries emerge

African Americans appear to be dying at a higher rate; doctors in rural areas worry they're not prepared to handle an influx of cases. NBC's Alice Barr reports.

(NBC News) — Amid signs that hospitalizations of coronavirus patients may be stabilizing in New York there are growing concerns that rural communities are about to see their own surge.

“Most of the rural hospitals do not have an ICU, they do not have a ventilator,” says Alabama physician Dr. Maureen Muecke. “And if they do have a ventilator, which will breath for the patient, we do not have the staff to man the ventilators.”

Meanwhile, new data shows African Americans are getting sick and dying at higher rates.

“Number one people, unfortunately, are more likely to be of low socio-economic status, which makes it harder to social distance. Number two, we know that blacks are more likely to have diabetes, heart disease, lung disease,” U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams told CBS This Morning when discussing the trends.

At the same time, the Trump administration facing new scrutiny over a top White House advisor’s memo, reportedly warning back in late January that the coronavirus crisis could cost the U.S. trillions of dollars and put hundreds of thousands of American lives at risk. It came as President Trump was still publicly downplaying the risk.

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