In a letter to President Donald Trump on Wednesday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state projects that 56 percent of the state’s population will be infected with coronavirus over the next eight weeks.
Newsom also asked Trump to send the USNS Mercy – the largest hospital ship in the world – to the port of Los Angeles to help decompress the current healthcare system in the Los Angeles region. Newsom requested that the Navy deploy the ship to California through Sep. 1.
“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, in addition to the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases,” Newsom wrote.
“The population density in the Los Angeles Region is similar to New York City, will be disproportionately impacted by the number of COVID-19 cases.
Newsom said the state projects around 25.5 million people will be infected over the next two months.
56 percent of the current population of California is approximately 22.4 million.
Newsom also signed an executive order on Wednesday focused on aiding the state’s homeless as the virus spreads.
California will provide local governments with $150 million for emergency homelessness actions.
The money will be split up in two parts: $100 million will go directly to local governments for shelter support and emergency housing, and $50 million will go to purchase travel trailers and lease rooms in hotels, motels and other facilities to provide isolation placements for the homeless.
Newsom said that the state received 80,000 unemployment insurance claims on Tuesday, while it usually receives 2,000 per day.