The bulk of the wave is already here, and the White House, after several weeks of hesitation and steps back, has unified its message: Americans have to be prepared for what lies ahead. Vice Admiral Jerome Adams, Commissioner of the Public Health Service, has made this clear: “Next week is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment. Only it’s not going to be located: it will be happening all over the country. And I want America to understand it.
The Trump administration estimates that the pandemic will leave 100,000 to 240,000 dead, many of which will occur in April. “The next two weeks are extraordinarily important,” added Dr Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House in response to the coronavirus. “This is the time not to go to the supermarket or the pharmacy, and to do everything you can to keep your families and friends safe.” The Government has also ruled about the use of the mask; now he recommends wearing it always on the street.
Confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the US exceed 312,000, although the actual numbers may be much larger. Thousands of patients could continue in the dark, given the different policies of the states and the scarcity of health resources, for example, in rural regions. The official death toll is around 9,100. The virus operates a different calendar depending on the location. Dr Birx estimates that New York, Detroit, and New Orleans could spike in the next six to seven days.
The New York War
New York hospitals have been saturated for days, especially in the most affected neighbourhoods of Brooklyn and Queens: neighborhoods of humble and multi-ethnic majority. Doctors have been rationing the materials to make them last this week. City Mayor Bill de Blasio has authorized firefighters and police to search respirators at businesses and private medical practices. “We are in the middle of a war. A war against an invisible enemy,” said de Blasio.
State Governor Andrew Cuomo reports the effort in his daily appearances. Cuomo conveys the latest data, needs, good and bad news, and tries to build a close political image. His brother, CNN host Chris Cuomo, is isolated, with Covid-19, in the basement of his home. The two connect to joke in these appearances via Skype. His operation is giving him revenue: 87% of New Yorkers approve of his crisis management, according to a survey by Siena College. An unprecedented proportion in a democracy.
With less than half the population of Spain, New York State has a similar number of confirmed cases: 122,000. And within a week or two of peaking, 4,159 people have already died. So far, 85,000 volunteers have answered the call of the authorities, including 21,000 from out of state. Two more field hospitals will open this week, out of a total of eight.
The federal government wants to prevent many uninsured patients from staying home, so it will reimburse hospitals for Covid-19 treatment in uninsured patients (28 million Americans). Hospitals will pass the bill on to Washington, at prices set in the public Medicare program. Covid-19 treatment can cost about $ 35,000. Of this amount, patients with average health insurance would pay $ 9,700 out of pocket. If there are complications, more than double, according to the Kaiser Foundation.
A historic crash
Parallel to the pandemic, the economic damage is spreading. Eight out of ten counties are confined, accounting for 96% of national production. Moody’s Analytics agency believes that 29% of the economy has stopped working. It has gone out suddenly, something that has never happened before. If counties resume activities before summer, the annual cut in GDP would be 30%. If confinement is extended for more than three months, the drop could reach 75%.
The November general election, which is supposed to be dominating the news cycle, has been in the background for weeks. This is true for potential presidential candidates and especially for candidates for hundreds of legislative positions across the country. The salt of their campaigns are meetings with voters, volunteers knocking on doors, debates in which the politician rolls up his sleeves and listens to people’s personal experiences.
“The nature of the campaigns has changed,” said Democrat John Hickenlooper, a former Colorado governor and Senate candidate. “These times really are different, and we are going to do things differently in this campaign.” The applicant spoke to his virtual audience through Facebook Live. It is unclear what the political effect of cyber campaigns will be. Perhaps they benefit the candidates in power, as they have their donor apparatus and oiled communication.
There are still counties open, and Americans who do not fully understand the severity of the pandemic. Several megachurches in the south have decided to keep the Easter masses. “Satan is trying to keep us apart,” said a Texas pastor. Another, Tony Spell, of Louisiana, has already committed six fouls for ignoring official warnings. Still, he will give his planned Masses. “We are challenging the rules because God’s command is to spread his word.” Preachers claim that these restrictions curtail your religious freedom.
Of the country’s 50 states, eight still resist declaring confinement. Especially Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska and the two Dakotas, where no municipality has taken restrictive measures. Public health experts warn that the virus will take advantage of any gap to take refuge and continue to reproduce, lengthening the fight against the pandemic. The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, urges all states to impose restrictions. “If you look at what’s going on in this country, I just don’t understand why we’re not doing that,” Fauci said on CNN.
President Donald Trump has repeatedly refused to enact confinement at the national level, which would overlap the authority of these states. “We have a thing called the Constitution, which I value,” he declared. The eight states that resist are governed by Republicans. There are eight states that Trump won in 2016.