- Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said the city was six to twelve days from the crisis New York is currently facing.
- "The early announcement that we could see this light at the end of the tunnel – I would say we are entering this tunnel and have to be prepared for some darkness ahead," said Garcetti.
- Eleven people in Los Angeles County have now died of COVID-19, including a teenager.
- You can find more stories on the Business Insider homepage.
Los Angeles is only a week or two away from the fate of New York City, where hospitals are overwhelmed by an increase in patients with COVID-19 – and neither the nation is anywhere near ready to go back to work as usual. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Tuesday night.
"Putting the economy before individuals, making profits before people – that will cost lives," said Garcetti in a vigorous reprimand from President Donald Trump, who suggested that social distancing measures be lifted by April 12.
Earlier in the day, President Trump said he would like the country to "open up and only go until Easter."
The mayor called wishful thinking. "I think we all owe it to ourselves to be straightforward and honest," said Garcetti. Restrictions currently in place, including the requirement that Los Angeles residents remain in their homes, may be required for "a few months," not just a few more days.
"The early announcement that we could see this light at the end of the tunnel – I would say we are entering this tunnel and have to be prepared for some darkness ahead of us," continued Garcetti.
On Tuesday, officials in Los Angeles County, home to more than 10 million people, announced that more than 660 residents have been confirmed to be infected with COVID-19. A teenager with the disease died of septic shock, the Los Angeles Times reportedand brings the county's death toll to 11.
The mayor warned that the worst would come. "I've done some calculations and we're about six to twelve days behind what we see in New York City." By Tuesday evening, the virus had killed 131 New York residents, the New York Times reportedAccording to Dr. Deborah Birx, member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, makes the city 60 percent of all new cases nationwide.
Garcetti said Los Angeles doesn't have enough medical care or healthcare professionals to adequately deal with what's coming. And while praising the Trump administration's appeal to war powers to produce more test kits, he said it would be of little use to Los Angeles if these kits were not delivered immediately.
"Now is the time for partnerships, not politics," he said. "We cannot wish Corona Virus away."