Houston doctor to CNN: 'Darkest days in modern American medical history' may be coming with COVID-19

A doctor working at a Houston hospital warned Wednesday that the current wave of the coronavirus pandemic could mean the “darkest days in modern American medical history.”

During a panel interview on CNN's "New Day," Joseph Varon, a doctor at Houston United Memorial Medical Center said he was working his 251st straight day at the hospital helping to combat COVID-19. 

The show's co-host John Berman asked the doctor to characterize what is happening in the Houston area. 


“There's no questions that the patients are coming into the hospital. They are coming in sicker and they’re coming in sicker because you know, they're waiting longer to come to the hospital. They’re tired of corona. They have what I call the corona fatigue syndrome,” Varon told Berman. 

“[U]nfortunately my concerns for the next six to 12 weeks is that if we don’t do things right, America is going to see the darkest days in modern American medical history,” he added. “My hospital is full. I just opened two new wings so that I can accommodate for the next few days, because I know that a lot of people are going to get sick after Thanksgiving.”

Texas has been one of the hardest-hit states during the pandemic, with 1.18 million cases, 21,245 deaths and a test positivity rate of 10.54 percent as of Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Last week, 36 Texas National Guard troops were deployed to El Paso County as the county’s morgues have become overwhelmed.


Anthony FauciAnthony FauciSunday shows - White House COVID-19 response coordinator says US is 'turning the corner' Fauci: 'No doubt' US has undercounted COVID-19 deaths Fauci: 'Unlikely' US will see COVID-19 surge in fall, winter MORE, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, warned of the threat of “COVID fatigue,” saying on Sunday that “When you get COVID fatigue, which is entirely understandable, that people just throw up their hands and say 'heck, we’re not going to be able to do anything about it, let’s just do what we want to do,' that’s the wrong decision, because vaccines are coming and they’re going to be available relatively soon if we can hang in there with the mitigation methods.”

U.S. health experts and leaders have also warned the American public against large gatherings during the upcoming holiday season as medical professionals brace for a surge of cases after Thanksgiving. 

The United States has been slammed by the coronavirus pandemic heading into the colder months as people gather inside to escape adverse weather. The country has recored well over 100,000 new cases per day since the beginning of November, and Wednesday proved to be the deadliest day in the U.S. since May.