Pentagon Orders 100,000 Extra Body Bags After Grim White House Death Toll Prediction
Trump admin predicts 100k-240k deaths in America with current measures
The Pentagon has ordered an additional 100,000 body bags following this week's grim prediction from the White House that the American coronavirus death toll is expected to be between 100k and 240,000 people.
By Thursday morning, the US death toll had surpassed 5,100 while 90 percent of the country was on lockdown to help slow the spread of the deadly COVID-19.
With over 215,000 confirmed cases, the United States accounts for almost a quarter of the global total.
The government is expected to get the next 50,000 body bags from a stockpile with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) providing the next 100k.
Preparations are being made to triple-up as California and New York state hospitals and morgues become overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients, quickly running out of space and supplies.
A forklift was seen being used on Tuesday to help lift dead bodies into a refrigerated truck outside the Brooklyn Hospital Center.
The COVID-19 death toll in New York is currently over 2,200 with 84,000 confirmed cases.
Hospitals have been forced to use bedsheets to wrap bodies because they no longer have body bags.
FEMA did not have a specific delivery date for the military-style remains pouches, sources told Bloomberg Wednesday.
The green nylon body bags are usually distributed to war zones and measure up at 94 inches (7.8 feet) by 38 inches (3.2 feet).
A source said, the bags have not yet been ordered but the Defense Logistics Agency’s Troop Support unit, which manages the Pentagon’s stockpile, was looking into the request.
A FEMA spokesperson said there will be "prudent planning" that includes preparing for "mortuary contingencies."
After it was predicted the death toll in the US could reach 240,000, President Donald Trump told the country to brace for a tough time ahead.
"This is going to be a painful two weeks," Trump said at a White House coronavirus briefing on Tuesday.
"Our strength will be tested, our endurance will be tried."
On Monday, the vice director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Major General Jeff Taliaferro, said they "are in close partnership" with FEMA to "identify what their needs are."
Taliaferro said Monday's "mission assignments" included requests for prepackaged Meals Ready to Eat (MRE), and "other supplies" as well as "a mission assignment from FEMA for a mortuary affairs support team for New York."
Taliaferro added they are "in the process of identifying" personnel.
FEMA is working with state and regional health and emergency managers to distribute pouches where needed.
During Tuesday's White House briefing on the Chinese COVID-19 pandemic, the Trump Administration's leading health official warned the American public to prepare for at least 100,000 people to die.
Dr. Tony Fauci said we need to be "realistic" when asked if the death told in America could surpass the six figures predictions.
"The answer is yes - as sobering a number as that is, we should be prepared for it," Fauci told members of the press.