California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday that 56% of people living in California — about 25.5 million people — could contract the coronavirus in the next eight weeks, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The projection was included in a letter sent to President Donald Trump asking that a Navy hospital ship be sent to Los Angeles to help with the outbreak of the coronavirus disease, known as COVID-19.
"This resource will help decompress the health care delivery system to allow the Los Angeles region to ensure that it has the ability to address critical acute care needs, such as heart attacks and strokes or vehicle accidents," Newsom wrote in the letter as reported by the Chronicle.
There are 978 confirmed cases of the virus in the state, with 19 deaths. California has been among the states hit hardest by the coronavirus outbreak.
It also has a sizable homeless population. Those living on the streets are more at risk of contracting infectious diseases, such as the coronavirus. Newsom also said Wednesday that more than 60,000 of the state's 100,000-plus homeless community could be among those infected in the next two months.
On Wednesday, the governor also told the California National Guard to prepare for potential activation into local communities to help with the coronavirus outbreak.
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