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COVID's impact on those who don't have virus: Veteran dies at Houston hospital while waiting for treatment

"People from all over the world come to Houston to get medical care, and right now, Houston can't take care of patients from the next town over."

HOUSTON — The surge in new COVID cases is putting an enormous strain on hospitals across the country, making it difficult for them to treat people with other health emergencies.

"CBS This Morning" lead national correspondent David Begnaud reports on a tragic case: A U.S. veteran in Bellville, Texas, who couldn't get the medical attention he needed in Houston because of a lack of hospital space.

The veteran, Daniel Wilkinson, served two tours of duty in Afghanistan and came home with a purple heart — only to die from a gallstone, his mother says.

Credit: Family
Veteran Daniel Wilkinson, who passed away while waiting for treatment at a hospital in Houston

Begnaud reports by the time Wilkinson was transported to the V.A. in Houston and was able to get a room and a team to treat him, it was too late.

"People from all over the world come to Houston to get medical care, and right now, Houston can't take care of patients from the next town over. That's the reality," says Dr. Hasan Kakli from the Bellville Medical Center.

Begnaud spoke with Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo about the hospital situation. She told him the issue is not the number of beds available, it's the number of nurses and other staff available to treat the patients once they are there.

You can watch the full CBS report here: