US healthcare system may see 'total collapse' amid COVID-19 spike: medical expert

WASHINGTON, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- A medical expert has warned that the surging COVID-19 hospitalization has put the healthcare system in the United States at real crisis, Cable News Network (CNN) reported.

In this file photo taken on January 03, 2021 medical Director of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Dr. Thomas Yadegar checks the vital signs of Mindy Cross while her husband Dr. Neil Hecht(R) rests in a bed next to her at Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center in Tarzana, California. (Photo: AFP)

"This is about total collapse of the healthcare system if we have another spike," Brad Spellberg, chief medical officer at the Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center, said in Saturday's report.

US hospitals started "running out of health care workers months ago," CNN said, adding that gatherings in the holiday season are causing new waves of coronavirus hospitalizations.

The United States has "remained above 100,000 hospitalizations for 32 straight days," and on Thursday, a record 125,379 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, according to the report.

Spellberg said the public has the power to stop the spread of the virus by complying with health guidance, while hospitals cannot put a stop but only react to it.