America’s Lost Month: How the United States Lost in Coronavirus Testing.
As the deadly corona virus spread across the United States between late January and early March, large-scale testing of people who may have been infected due to technical deficiencies, regulatory barriers, business-as-usual bureaucrats and a lack of leadership at multiple levels did not occur. .
The three federal health agents responsible for detecting and fighting pandemic threats failed to prepare quickly enough, a Times investigation found. Even when researchers looked at China and sounded alarms, none of the agency̵
Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, trusted the agency’s veteran researcher to develop a test for coronavirus. But when the test turned out to be a failure, it took C.D.C. much of February to settle for a solution. Meanwhile, the virus spread undetected.
Dr. Stephen Hahn, Commissioner for the Food and Drug Administration, was supposed to help build national testing capabilities by approving diagnostic tests developed by the private sector. Yet he enforced regulations that, paradoxically, made it more difficult for hospitals and laboratories to distribute such tests in an emergency.
Alex M. Azar II, Commissioner for Health and Human Services, supervised the other two authorities and coordinated the government’s public health response to the pandemic. Still, he failed to press C. D or C. D to speed up or change course.
Together, the challenges resulted in a lost month as the United States destroyed its best chance of containing the spread of coronavirus. Instead, Americans were largely left blind to the extent of a looming public health disaster.
C.D.C. provides travel advice for the New York region, after Trump supports his quarantine threat.
President Trump said Saturday night that he will not introduce a quarantine against New York, New Jersey and Connecticut but would instead issue a “strong” travel advice to be implemented by governors of the three states.
Trump announced on Twitter just hours after he told reporters that he was considering a quarantine of the three states in an effort to limit the spread of coronavirus to Florida and other states.
Later on Saturday night, C.D.C. issued a formal advice urging residents of the three states to “abstain from unnecessary domestic travel for 14 days immediately.” The advisory, published on the agency’s website and its Twitter account, does not apply to “employees in industries with critical infrastructure,” the agency says. It includes trucks, public health personnel, financial services and food service providers.
Trump said when he said he was considering a quarantine for the region and gave no details on how his administration would implement it. Speakers to CNN criticized New York statesman Andrew Cuomo and called it “a declaration of war against states.”
He also questioned the logistical challenges, as well as the message such an order would give. “If you start walling off areas across the country it would just be totally bizarre, counterproductive, anti-American, anti-social,” he said.
Trump’s public broadcast of his deliberations came a day after he signed a $ 2 trillion financial stimulus package and, as a case in the Tristate area, continued to climb. The specter of a federal quarantine followed a wave of governors who, afraid of the virus spreading further through their states, ordered people who had traveled from New York to isolate themselves for two weeks after their arrival.
Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island said on Friday that state troops would start stopping drivers with New York registration signs so National Guard officials could collect contact information and inform anyone coming from the state that they were subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine .
Texas, Florida, Maryland and South Carolina are among the other states that have ordered people arriving from New York to self-quarantine. In Texas, for example, authorities said on Friday that the Department of Public Security agents would make surprise visits to see if travelers followed the state’s mandate, and they warned violators could be fined $ 1,000 and jailed for 180 days.
Mr. Lamont, the Connecticut governor, this week urged all New York City travelers to self-quarantine for two weeks after entering the state, but he did not stop issuing an order calling for it.
Illinois reports the first known American death of an infant with coronavirus.
A child who tested positive for coronavirus has died in Chicago, authorities said on Saturday. It was the first known death of a child younger than a year old with the virus in the United States, although the authorities of some states do not release information about people dying.
“There has never been a death in connection with Covid-19 in an infant,” Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health. “A full investigation is underway to determine the cause of death.” Older adults, especially those in the 80s and 90s, have been considered the most vulnerable in the outbreak, but younger people have also died.
By Saturday night, deaths in the United States had surpassed 2000, at least 50 of them in Illinois. More than 3,500 known cases of the virus have been identified in Illinois.
As the death toll grows, Spain and Italy are looking for signs of a turning point.
Italy and Spain, which have the world’s highest coronavirus deaths, have reported bleak new daily totals: 889 deaths over 24 hours in Italy and 832 in Spain.
The swelling figures that killed the number of deaths in the two countries to about 15,000 – more than half of the deaths reported worldwide.
“We must reduce this mortality to the greatest possible extent,” says Fernando Simón, director of Spain’s national health center.
But the health system in Spain, where the government on Saturday further tightened the restrictions on movement, is under strain. Dr Simón warned that some intensive care units had reached the “limit”, while others were approaching their capacity. In the Madrid region, a hub of Spain’s outbreak, about 1400 patients are now in intensive care units.
The increase in deaths was particularly worrying in Italy, where it seemed as if the death had begun slowly. Italy and Spain have both reported signs of new infections becoming more, more than encouraging for public health experts, though these prices may fluctuate as outbreaks progress.
“We are reaching the top of this curve that is worrying us so much,” Dr. Simón. “In some parts of the country, we’ve probably already passed it,” he added.
Hopes have become more subdued in Italy, where the head of the national health institute, Silvio Brusaferro, suggested that the country’s outbreak “could peak in the next few days.”
Still, he said, “We can’t fool ourselves that slowing down the spread will allow us to slow down the social distance.”
The magnitude of the outbreak in Italy has unpleasant people in France, where President Emmanuel Macron offered a new defense of a government response that some deemed insufficient.
“We definitely haven’t ignored these signs,” Macron said in one interview with three Italian newspapers. “I handled this crisis seriously from the beginning, when it started in China.”
France has reported 37,555 cases and 2,314 deaths, a daily increase of 319.
“It is an unprecedented health crisis of at least a century,” French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Saturday afternoon. “When I speak, almost half of humanity is under lockdown, it’s literally extraordinary.”
Here’s how some other countries respond to the virus:
Russia will close its borders from March 30. The measure comes into force at all checkpoints for vehicles, railways and pedestrians and applies to Russia’s maritime borders, the government said. This does not apply to other Russian diplomats and drivers of freight transport. The country, which has already founded all international flights, has reported 1,244 coronavirus cases. It closed its longest border with China in January.
Turkey stopped all intercity trains and restricted domestic flights and stopped international flights on Saturday. Its number of coronavirus cases jumped by one-third in one day to 5,698, with 92 dead.
Brazil’s President, Jair Bolsonaro, continues to question São Paulo’s death from the outbreak and accused the state governor without evidence of dealing with the figures for political purposes. “I’m sorry, some people are going to die, they’re going to die, that’s life,” Bolsonaro said in a TV interview Friday night. He said that in the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil’s economic power center – which has the most cases and deaths so far of coronavirus in Brazil, in 1,233 cases and 68 deaths – the death seemed “too great.”
New York ambulances have not been so busy since 9/11.
Even when New York hospitals are flooded with coronavirus cases, some patients are left in their homes because the health care system cannot handle them all, according to dozens of interviews with paramedics, New York Fire Department officials and union representatives, as well as city data.
In a few days, the city’s 911 system has been overwhelmed by medical accident calls apparently related to the virus. Usually, the system sees approximately 4,000 emergency medical calls per day.
On Thursday, the broadcasters took more than 7,000 calls – a volume that has not seen since the September 11 attacks. The record for one-day calls was broken three times during the past week.
Due to the volume, emergency medical workers make life or death decisions about who is ill enough to take on emergency patients and who seems good enough to leave behind. They assess on stage which patients should receive time-consuming measures such as CPR and intubation, and which patients are too far away to save.
And they do, in most cases they say, without appropriate equipment to protect against infection.
Paramedics described bleak scenes as New York City has become the epicenter of coronavirus pandemics in the United States, with more than 29,000 cases as of Saturday and 517 deaths.
Reporting and research contributed by Neil MacFarquhar, Alan Blinder, Michael D. Shear, Jesse McKinley, Abby Goodnough, Sheila Kaplan, Sheri Fink, Katie Thomas and Noah Weiland,