The United States hit an astonishing milestone of 5 million confirmed infections by Sunday, making it easily the highest in the world.
Rome, Italy – Editor’s note: The video above is from July 13, 2020.
The United States’ failure to contain the spread of the coronavirus has met with astonishment and alarm in Europe, as the world’s most powerful country broke a global record of 5 million confirmed infections on Sunday, according to a report by Johns Hopkins University.
As Axios reports, former Food and Drug Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has issued a warning saying the death toll will “definitely”
With confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States affecting 5 million on Sunday, by far the highest in any country, the failure of the most powerful nation in the world to contain the fungus has met with surprise and concern in Europe.
Perhaps nowhere outside the United States is the US bungling virus response seen with more disruption than in Italy, which was ground zero of Europe’s epidemic. The Italians were unprepared when the eruption exploded in February, and the country still has one of the world’s highest official deaths of over 35,000.
But after a strict nationwide, ten-week lock-in, vigilant tracking of new clusters and general acceptance of worm mandates and social distancing, Italy has become a model for virus containment.
“Do they not care about their health?” a masked Patrizia Antonini asked about people in the United States as she walked with friends along Lake Bracciano, north of Rome. “They have to take our precautions. … They need a real lockdown. “
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Much of the disbelief in Europe stems from the fact that America had the advantage of time, European experience, and medical knowledge to treat the virus that the continent did not have when the first COVID-19 patients began filling intensive care units.
More than four months into a prolonged outbreak, the United States reached the 5 million mark, according to the estimated number held by Johns Hopkins University. Health officials believe that the actual number is perhaps 10 times higher, or close to 50 million, given the test limitations and the fact that as many as 40% of all those infected have no symptoms.
“We Italians always saw America as a model,” said Massimo Franco, a columnist with Corriere della Sera. “But with this virus, we have discovered a country that is very fragile, with poor infrastructure and a public health system that does not exist.”
With the world’s highest death toll in the world at more than 160,000, its politicized opposition to masks and its rising cash flow, European countries have prevented American tourists and visitors from other countries with growing cases from traveling freely to the block.
France and Germany are now introducing tests on arrival for travelers from “risky” countries, including the United States.
“I am very aware that this affects individual freedoms, but I think this is a justified intervention,” said German Health Minister Jens Spahn last week.
Mistakes were also made in Europe, from delayed locks to inadequate protection for elderly care and critical deficiencies in tests and protective equipment for medical personnel.
The hard-hit Spain, France, Britain and Germany have seen infection recoveries with new cases exceeding 1,000 a day, and Italy’s falls over 500 on Friday. Some researchers say that Britain’s beloved pubs may have to close again if schools are to reopen in September.
Europe as a whole has seen over 207,000 confirmed virus deaths, on behalf of Johns Hopkins.
In the US, new cases are being committed at around 54,000 a day – an extremely high number even if one takes into account the country’s large population. And while it is down from a peak of just over 70,000 last month, cases are rising in nearly 20 states, and deaths are climbing in most.
However, at least for now Europe seems to have the virus somewhat under control.
“Had medical work been allowed to work in the states, you would have come too late to a point to address this in March,” said Scott Lucas, a professor of international studies at the University of Birmingham, England. “But, of course, medical and public health personnel were not allowed to continue to be demarcated,” he said, referring to President Donald Trump’s frequent subversion of his own experts.
When the virus first appeared in the United States, Trump and his supporters quickly dismissed it as either a “hoax” or a nuisance that would quickly disappear when warmer weather arrived. At one point, Trump suggested that ultraviolet light or disinfectant should eradicate the virus. (He later said he was facey).
Trump’s frequent complaints about Dr. Anthony Fauci has regularly made headlines in Europe, where the American expert on infectious disease is a respected figure. Italy’s leading hospital COVID-19 offered Fauci a job if Trump fired him.
Trump has defended the US response and blamed China, where the virus was first discovered, for US problems, saying that US numbers are so high because there are so many tests. Trump supporters and Americans who refused to wear masks against all medical advice behind that line.
“There’s no reason to fear any disease out there,” said Julia Ferjo, a mother of three in Alpine, Texas, who is “hard” at wearing a mask. Ferjo, 35, teaches gymnastics in a large gym with open doors. She does not allow participants to wear masks.
“When you breathe so hard, I would walk away,” she said. “I do not want people to just let go like flies.”
And health officials watched with concern as thousands of cyclists gathered Friday in the small South Dakota town of Sturgis for an annual ten-day motorcycle race. The state has no worm mandate, and many cyclists expressed opposition to measures to prevent the virus from spreading.
Dr. David Ho, director of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, who leads a team seeking treatments for COVID-19, decoded such behavior, as did the country’s management of the virus.
“There is no national strategy, no national leadership, and there is no call for the public to act in unison and implement the actions together,” he said. “That is what is needed, and we have completely abandoned it as a nation.”
When he goes on Zoom calls with counterparts from around the world, “not everyone can believe what they see in the United States and they cannot believe the words that come out of the lead,” he said.
In the midst of mockery from other countries, Trump’s national security adviser Robert O’Brien, recently recovered from a bout with the virus, gave a cute picture on Sunday on CBS: “Face the Nation.”
“We will fight like hell. We work hard with vaccines. We work hard to test machines that are portable and fast. … We work with therapy, he said. “I am so impressed with our scientists and our doctors and our first responders and the people who attack this disease, and God bless them all.”
Many Europeans proudly point to their national healthcare systems, which not only test but treat COVID-19 for free, unlike the US system, where the virus crisis has only exacerbated income and racial inequalities in care.
“The corona virus has brutally eradicated the vulnerability of a country that has been slipping for years,” wrote Italian author Massimo Gaggi in his new book “Crack America” (Broken America), about the long-running US problem of COVID-19 .
Gaggi said he started writing the book last year and then thought the title would be taken as a provocative alarm clock. Then the virus struck.
“In March, the title was no longer a provocation,” he said. “It was obvious.”