So far, the coronavirus outbreak has infected dozens of people in the United States, with double digit mortality numbers.
But according to a leaked presentation from the American Hospital Association reported by Business Insider, some medical professionals are bracing for the epidemic to get much, much worse.
The presentation stated that the endgame could be as high as 96 million Americans infected with coronavirus, with those cases leading to 4.8 million hospitalizations and 480,000 deaths. Hospitals, according the presentation, should brace for an overload to their system that is 10 times worse than the seasonal flu — although it does not note the time frame over which this scenario may occur.
The AHA has stated that the slide is reflective of the presenter's views, rather than their own.
"The AHA regularly hosts webinars and conference calls that include a variety of voices and opinions that seek to provide relevant information to professionals at hospitals and health systems that are on the front lines of preparing for and protecting their patients and communities," said an AHA spokeswoman to Business Insider. "The slides you shared reflect the various perspectives of field experts and should not be attributed to the AHA."