On Friday, Massachusetts General Hospital ER physician Dr. Clayton Dalton joined Boston Public Radio to discuss how MGH is prepping for an anticipated spike in coronavirus cases and respond to President Donald Trump expressing doubt about a need for more ventilators.

Clayton's essay “In Boston, Doctors Wait for the Deluge” was published this month in The New Yorker. On Friday, Dalton said MGH staff are “mostly in preparation mode.”

“We haven’t seen a big surge of patients like New York is experiencing now, but we’re doing everything we can to be prepared for it, if and when it does arise,” he said. "That means freeing up hospital beds, making sure that we have enough [personal protective equipment], and just doing everything we can to make sure we have all hands on deck.”

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Hospitals throughout the country are currently working to ensure they have the equipment needed to handle a surge of new patients. On Tuesday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said his state is in need of 30,000 more ventilators than are currently available.

Meanwhile, speaking on “Hannity” Thursday, Trump expressed doubt over whether those estimates were fair. "I don’t believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators," Trump said. "You go into major hospitals sometimes they’ll have two ventilators and now all of a sudden they’re saying ‘Can we order 30,000 ventilators?'”

"To be completely honest with you, listening to that [quote] made the hair stand up on the back of my neck, and I kind of want to scream,” Clayton said.

“[Hospitals] are running out of ventilators, and people will die as a result. ... I just can’t comprehend where the president is coming from on this," he said. "We are so unlucky to have this man in charge right now, I just don’t have words for it.”

A survey published Friday by the United States Conference of Mayors found reports of medical equipment shortages in 213 cities throughout the U.S.

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"What everyone is thinking about right now is, 'Will we find ourselves in a situation where we don’t have the resources to meet the needs of our patients?'” Clayton said. "This is already happening in Italy. I think a lot of people have probably seem some of the reports on Twitter and elsewhere where they’re having to make decisions about who gets a ventilator and who doesn’t.

"I think that hospitals should be preparing for this possibility, they should already be working on how [to] make these decisions, what will be the process," he said. "It has to be planned, it has to be transparent, because people have to know that we want to get this as right as we possibly can and be as fair as we possibly can.”