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Europe rushes to build field hospitals; Russia sent medical aid to the U.S.

The virus has slowed its growth in overwhelmed Italy, but the U.S. and Britain are bracing for waves of desperately ill people.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this March 25, 2020, file photo, a patient with COVID-19, flown in an Italian Air Force plane from Italy is admitted to the Helios Klinikum in Leipzig, Germany. In the rare position of having beds to spare, German hospitals have taken in dozens of patients from Italy and France. (Hendrik Schmidt/dpa via AP, File)

ROME, Italy — Facing intense surges in the need for hospital ICU beds, European nations are on a hospital building and medical worker hiring spree. 

They are throwing together makeshift hospitals and shipping coronavirus patients out of overwhelmed cities via high-speed trains and military jets. 

The key question is whether they will be able to get enough healthy medical staff to make it all work. 

The virus has slowed its growth in overwhelmed Italy, but the U.S. and Britain are bracing for waves of desperately ill people. 

Russia, meanwhile, sent medical aid to the U.S. as sick patients overwhelmed New York hospitals. 

Authorities say up to 240,000 Americans could die in the pandemic even if social distancing guidelines are followed.

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