200,000 Americans will need intensive care even with a 'moderate' coronavirus outbreak: CNN
Young woman patient lying at hospital bed feeling sad (Shutterstock)

President Donald Trump is still trying to downplay the severity of the coronavirus pandemic, even as his own political allies such as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) are self-quarantining to prevent the potential spread of the disease.


CNN's Sanjay Gupta on Monday reported that the Trump administration's own estimates show just how big of a deal a coronavirus outbreak in the United States could be.

"According to estimates from the US Department of Health and Human Services... even with a moderate outbreak, 200,000 people in the United States will need intensive care," Gupta wrote.

The problem, however, is that the United States at the moment only has 100,000 intensive care unit beds, which means the system could quickly become overwhelmed if the spread of the virus is not at least slowed.

Additionally, writes Gupta, HHS estimates that 64,000 Americans will need access to breathing machines during a mild coronavirus outbreak -- and "the United States is estimated to have only about 62,000 full featured ventilators on hand and an additional 8,900 in the national stockpile."

Things could get particularly dicey in this case because many of these ventilators have already been in use during flu season.