Mar 27, 2020
The US Administration has been judged in delaying its reaction to the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. According to the latest figures collated by Johns Hopkins University, the US has more confirmed cases than any other country; more than 85,000 have been infected by the virus.
The president believes that the latest figures are related to the extensive amount of testing that the USA is doing. The US has conducted over half a million tests all over the country and currently, over 50 states have the tests available. Even though Mr. Trump stated that he does not believe the numbers coming from China, earlier today he tweeted the following:
“I just finished a very good conversation with President Xi of China. Discussed in great detail the CoronaVirus that is ravaging large parts of our Planet. China has been through much & has developed a strong understanding of the Virus. We are working closely together. Much respect!”
Back on track by Easter Sunday?
However, despite the many deaths, President Donald Trump projected that the country will get back to work “pretty quickly”. Mr. Trump set a goal to reopen the country by 12th April 2020, Easter Sunday. The plan was criticized and dubbed unrealistic based on the lockdowns of other countries.
The plan seems to coincide with the fact that over 3 million America have been laid off because of the virus. The president mentioned that the American people, “have to go back to work, our country has to go back, our country is based on that and I think it’s going to happen pretty quickly.
“We may take sections of our country; we may take large sections of our country that aren’t so seriously affected, and we may do it that way.”
Mr. Trump then added: “A lot of people misinterpret when I say go back – they’re going to be practicing as much as you can social distancing, and washing your hands and not shaking hands and all of the things we talked about.”
The government-imposed lockdown has affected hundreds of businesses and individuals already, and despite the Congress’ plan to cater a large aid package to save the economy, it’s clear that the virus has taken a huge toll on the US economy.
Mr. Trump is looking to loosen restrictions in some regions but instead impose strict federal social distancing guidelines. The reality is that the President’s political career could have severe consequences, should the US death toll from COVID-19 grow immensely, but the same applies if the country goes into recession. With the election year approaching, the president’s administration could face troubles.
The president believes that there is a “long battle ahead” but that “robust” testing practices may help impose softer restrictions against the virus. Mr. Trump mentioned that the guidelines would be based on zones: low, medium and high risk. For example, Idaho, Nebraska, and parts of Texas could reopen sooner. The president’s ‘ambitious goal’ comes together with the new research, that suggested over 80,000 people could die in the USA alone, even if strict social distancing observed.
The plan emerged as new research on Thursday estimated Covid-19-related deaths in the US could top 80,000 over the coming four months – even if people observe strict social distancing.
The president’s ‘get-back-to-work’ plan was not supported nor found feasible. Loosening the strict quarantine could end in devastating results, therefore plans for ending restrictions could have a flexible timeline. A growing number of state governors do not agree on easing the guidelines, but instead are looking to restrict movement even further. At this stage, over 21 states are quarantined with non-essential businesses closed and citizens urged to avoid public interactions.
While the measures are not a national order, but a suggestion, there are has been significant panic and worry among citizens. In the COVID-19 hot zone, New York City, empty streets and silence have replaced the usual hustle and bustle of the big city. Over 6000 emergency medical calls were placed in just 24 hours last week, which surpassed the total emergency calls placed during the 9/11 attacks. Panic buying has been seen all over the country, with people stocking up on supplies of dry food, chlorine and toilet paper.
The worst is yet come, according to Surgeon General Jerome Adams, “I want America to understand, this week, it’s going to get bad,” he said, “And right now there are not enough people out there who are taking this seriously.”