Pentagon Seeks 100k Body Bags as US Covid-19 Deaths Top 5k
By Staff, Agencies
The Pentagon is looking to hand out some 100,000 body bags as hospitals and morgues are overrun with coronavirus deaths, with the US breaking its daily death toll record yet again, crossing 5,000 in total.
The US War Department will first distribute military-style “Human Remains Pouches” from a stockpile of 50,000 units to the Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA], and will later seek to purchase more, Pentagon officials told several media outlets on Wednesday.
The request from FEMA comes as the US sees its Covid-19 outbreak accelerate across all 50 states, counting nearly 1,000 new deaths on Wednesday and breaking a nationwide death toll record set just 24 hours prior. The US also confirmed 25,000 new cases of the illness on the same day, bringing the national total to over 215,000, Johns Hopkins University showed.
FEMA and the Pentagon have already coordinated efforts in New York – which has been hit harder than any other state in the outbreak with nearly 84,000 cases and over 2,200 deaths – setting up refrigerated morgue trucks to cope with the influx of fatalities, while the military has dispatched a mortuary services team to New York City.
The US Navy has also deployed medical vessels to NYC and Los Angeles, where they will treat non-coronavirus patients in an attempt to take pressure off both cities’ crowded hospitals.
According to models prepared by the White House Covid-19 task force, up to 240,000 Americans could die in the epidemic, with a low end of 100,000 if appropriate containment measures are put in place.
To date, more than 215,000 infections have been reported in the US, with over 5,100 deaths, after crossing the grim 3,000 fatality milestone just two days ago.