Coronavirus challenges in Italy may be a warning to U.S. doctors

There aren't enough beds, ventilators, Tematica Research chief macro strategist says

Other than China, Italy has the highest number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the world, which is greatly impacting the health care industry there.

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Tematica Research chief macro strategist Lenore Hawkins said Thursday during FOX Business' "After the Bell" she's witnessed firsthand how overwhelmed the health care professionals are.

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"The doctors that I have spoken to here are being faced every day with making the decision of who they're going to try to save and who they're going to let die," Hawkins told FOX Business' Connell McShane. "There are not enough beds, and there are not enough ventilators."

Patients lie on beds as a doctor walks past them at one of the emergency structures that were set up to ease procedures at the Brescia hospital, northern Italy, Thursday, March 12, 2020. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

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She's afraid the United States is doomed to repeat the mistakes the Italian government made.

"Every other country around here, including the United States, is potentially in the same boat because this thing is so contagious and it does have a fairly high percent that will need hospitalization," Hawkins emphasized. "No one has that many beds."

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Hawkins said when coronavirus hit Italy, many residents were "acting like it wasn't any big deal." But things changed quickly.

A woman wearing a mask walks in downtown Turin, northern Italy, Thursday, March 12, 2020. (Fabio Ferrari/LaPresse via AP)

"Today, I live in a country where, when I walk outside to go and get just some food, I get stopped by the police because they're making sure that no one is moving about," Hawkins explained. "The only people out there are the police and the army. Everything is closed. Every hotel is empty. Every restaurant is shut down. Every shop is closed. Everything has come to a stop."

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Hawkins reiterated the importance of people taking this virus seriously.

"It isn't a case of whether I am at risk or my colleagues are at risk," Hawkins explained. "The problem is that I can infect somebody whose body cannot withstand it."

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