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Newsom: 56 percent of California expect to get coronavirus

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Posted at 5:12 PM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-19 20:12:34-04

(KGTV) — In a letter to President Trump, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said he expects about 56 percent of the state's population — or about 25.5 million people — will be infected with coronavirus.

Newsom requested the president send the USNS Mercy Hospital Ship to be stationed at the Port of Los Angeles through Sept. 1 in order to "decompress our current health care delivery system in Los Angeles" amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"As you know, California has been disproportionately impacted by repatriation efforts over the last few months," the govenor wrote. "Our state and health care delivery system are significantly impacted by the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases."

Read the full letter below:

California officials project 56 percent of the state population will be infected by COVID-19 over an eight week period.

Thursday, California had 675 positive cases of coronavirus and 16 deaths, not including passengers from the Grand Princess cruise ship docked in Oakland.

The USNS Mercy, homeported in San Diego, has the capacity for 1,000 hospital beds.

The ship is one of two ships being prepared to deploy to the west and east coasts to assist the U.S. response to the coronavirus pandemic. The USNS Comfort, based in Virginia, is also being prepared to deploy and provide hospital care.

California is among the top three states, including Washington and New York, for coronavirus cases in the U.S.