The US about to Become Epicenter of COVID-19

By David Brooks on March 25, 2020

As of today, the US leads the world in the number of confirmed cases. 

Donald Trump, alarming the vast majority of medical experts, declared that he wants to “reopen” the country in about three weeks on the same day that the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that the United States is about to become the global epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, all while Congress proceeds to approve a massive economic rescue package of nearly $2 trillion. (heavily weighted towards bailing out the airline industry and other corporations)

Trump said he wants to “open up the country” in the coming weeks to save the economy. The president argued that “we’re going to lose more people by putting the country into a massive recession or depression… all sorts of things will happen, we’ll have instability. You can’t come in and say we’re going to shut down the United States of America, by far the largest and most successful country in the world.”

The comments provoked disbelief and alarm among health experts. “To be just one week away from these restrictions and already be talking about dropping them is irresponsible and dangerous,” Tom Inglesby, director of the John Hopkins Center for Health Security, said in an interview with the Washington Post, noting that removing the restrictions now will allow the virus to spread “quickly and horribly and potentially kill millions over the next year with enormous social and economic impact.

However, Trump continued to insist that his handling of the crisis has been exemplary, refusing to acknowledge the two-month delay in action, the lack of evidence and the lack of basic medical equipment to deal with the “tsunami” threatening the health system.

Today, the number of cases in the United States exceeds 50,000, including the first immigrant, a 31-year-old Mexican, infected inside a detention center. Almost 600 deaths have also been recorded, including a minor in California, the first in the United States. Just one month ago, Trump insisted that he had “everything under control.”

In New York State, the number of new infections is doubling every three days, Governor Andrew Cuomo reported. “These are disturbing and astronomical numbers,” he said, warning that this promises to overwhelm medical capacity in the state. He accused Washington of “not understanding the magnitude of the problem,” and that without an adequate response, thousands more will die. For now, he is turning New York City’s giant Javits convention center into a 2,000-bed emergency hospital.

Cuomo warned that what his state is experiencing will be repeated in the coming weeks in other parts of the country. The New York City metropolitan area is the most affected, with nearly half of the confirmed cases nationwide residing here.

Source: La Jornada, translation Resumen Latinoamericano, North America bureau