‘You can’t really manufacture doctors and nurses that don’t exist’

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Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said the surge in Covid-19 cases is pushing his state’s health care system to the limit as it heads toward what he predicted will “be a terrible point in the crisis.“

“We have been talking about this problem for nearly a month and preparing for it,“ Hogan told host Dana Bash on CNN’s “State of the Union,” “but you can't really manufacture doctors and nurses that don't exist.“

Noting the rise in cases attributed to the Omicron variant, the Republican governor said his state was trying a wide range of strategies to ensure there were enough health care workers to deal with the expected rise in hospitalizations in coming weeks.

“We put $100 million of emergency funding into our hospitals and our nursing homes,“ Hogan said. “We waived requirements for out-of-state nurses and doctors and health care workers. We have sped up the graduation of our nursing students, so they can get out early and get out to help. We have called up the Maryland National Guard. And we're continuing to take actions every day, nearly every — everything that anyone can think of to help us get through this.

“Look,“ he told Bash, “we believe that the next four to six weeks are really going to be a terrible point in this crisis. And it's potentially going to be the worst part of the whole two-year fight.“

Hogan, who said he had a mild case of Covid in December, touted his state’s vaccination rate (92 percent) and said the vaccines continue to be the best defense against severe cases.

“Eight percent of the population who has not been vaccinated is responsible for 75 percent of all the people that are filling up our Covid beds in the hospital,” he said.

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