Dr. Perry Cook ’72, New York City: ‘End is not in sight’

On March 24 Dr. Perry Cook ’72 said all doctors in New York City (then becoming the epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S.) were already caught up in the viral crisis. Three days later, on March 27, he reported that the coronavirus cases at his 650-bed hospital in Brooklyn had grown from 150 to 500 in-patients. 

“By CDC guidelines patients can only be screened for infection if they are ill enough to be admitted, so our emergency room has no choice but to send less sick patients home with advice to isolate and return if symptoms worsen,” he said.

This is part of a series of stories on Cornellians responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“The lack of testing capability and case follow-up are major obstacles to controlling this epidemic that is still worsening every day. This is both a medical and administrative crisis with poor planning and limited response. Routine misinformation … is further infuriating. I hope and fully expect that Cornell has gone to a virtual teaching system and most students have gone home. The end is not in sight.”

Cook, who majored in biology at Cornell, has connected with Cornell Biology Professor Barbara Christie-Pope and will be offering expertise from the field for students during her online course, The Science of COVID-19, Block 8.

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