Louisiana Gov Pleads For Federal Help, Predicts NOLA Will Be Out Of Hospital Beds By April

NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 16: Members of the New Orelans Police Department help clear Bourbon Street as Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards orders bars, gyms and casinos to close until April 13th due to the spread of ... NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 16: Members of the New Orelans Police Department help clear Bourbon Street as Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards orders bars, gyms and casinos to close until April 13th due to the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) on March 16, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic on March 11. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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March 24, 2020 4:38 p.m.
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Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) sent a letter to the White House Monday pleading for federal aid as his state drowns in coronavirus cases.

According to the letter, Louisiana has more than 1,172 cases of the virus — and only 381 intensive care unit beds to treat those infected.

“For the New Orleans area, the current projections of hospitalization significantly exceed capacity beginning on April 4, 2020,” he wrote.

Edwards is requesting a Major Disaster Declaration, which would allot federal assistance to the state to supplement lackluster state and local resources.

The White House has not responded to the letter, per Edwards spokesperson Christina Stephens. “We do anticipate that he will approve it,” she added. “California, New York and Washington have been approved.”

Edwards had already declared a state of emergency and issued a “Stay at Home Order” on Sunday. In the letter, he added that the state government has also begun contracting to “build out hotels” in order to make up for diminished hospital capacity, as well as setting up “isolation sites” at three state parks to house quarantined patients.

“We have seen a ten-fold increase in cases over the last two weeks,” he wrote.

Edwards tried to alert President Donald Trump to the increasingly dire state of affairs in Louisiana on Thursday in a conference call with an assortment of governors.

“My fear, based on modeling I’ve received today, is that as early as seven days we can start to exceed our capacity to deliver healthcare,” he said, per the White House transcript. “And even after surging, we may only get an additional three days. And so I’m asking for help in terms of surging our medical capacity.”

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