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President Trump Wants to ‘Open the Country Up’, U.S. Coronavirus Cases Surpass China and Italy

UTC by Wanguba Muriuki · 4 min read
President Trump Wants to ‘Open the Country Up’, U.S. Coronavirus Cases Surpass China and Italy
Photo: Pixabay

Currently, the United States has more confirmed cases than Italy and China but President Trump wants to open up the country in order to see business operations returning to normalcy.

The massive and rapid spread of the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in economic downturns throughout the world. Currently, the United States has more confirmed cases than Italy and China. Thus, it is now the country with the biggest outbreak in the entire world and it’s clear that President Trump has what to say in this context.

On March 27, the total number of cases in the U.S. surpassed 85,000 eclipsing China’s 81,782 and Italy’s 80,589, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The virus emerged in Wuhan, China, last December.

Since that time, COVID-19 has spread to over 500,000 people in almost all countries around the world. The World Health Organization warned earlier this week that the virus will still pick up speed as it encroaches new regions. On March 23, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus explained:

“The pandemic is accelerating. It took 67 days from the first reported case to reach 100,000 cases, 11 days for second 100,000 cases, and just four days for the third 100,000 cases.”

At the start of the month, there were roughly 100 confirmed cases in the U.S., and just a week ago, the number was around 5,000. Now, it appears like 100,000 cases are not far off for the United States.

The Cases

The confirmed cases seemingly underestimate the actual number of infections across the country, according to the officials. Testing in the United States has been affected by delays and restrictive diagnostic criteria that limit who will get tested.

With 37,258 confirmed cases as of March 26 morning, New York state accounts for almost half of all the cases in the United States, as explained by Governor Cuomo. The rapid growth of these confirmed cases is partially as a result of a ‘backlog’ of infections that were yet to be tested. These were not confirmed due to a lack of testing.

Major outbreaks in different hot spots like Louisiana, New York, and California threaten to overwhelm the local hospital systems. The hospitals have limited bed numbers, staff, and equipment like ventilators, potentially life-saving devices. States and cities across the country have rolled out strict measures to curb the spread of the deadly virus.

Almost 20 states have issued stay-at-home orders or advisories and have closed all nonessential businesses. Cities and counties in Texas, Florida, and Pennsylvania have issued isolated stay-at-home orders in the absence of statewide mandates.

President Trump Wants to Open the Country while Coronavirus Is Still Here

President Trump will hear recommendations from the White House coronavirus task force this weekend planning to ‘open the country up’ while the economy continues to strain under this pandemic. The new guidance on how to kickstart the economy will come several days after the U.S. became the country with the most confirmed COVID-19 cases globally.

The task force will share several recommendations and additional guidance for going forward with the next steps. It is taking these measures in its efforts to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus, according to Vice President Mike Pence. He added:

“The president has made it clear that in his words, he wants to open the country up. But we’re going to do that responsibly; and as the president told the governors today, we’ll do that based on the data.”

Trump sent a letter to the governors, outlining his vision of the next phase aiming to prevent states from imposing lockdowns. The president wants to develop criteria to “help classify counties” by low, medium, and high “risk” levels; using “robust surveillance testing”. This method will enable local governments to track the spread of the virus. 

The Next Phase

It is still unclear what recommendations or guidance the Pence was referring to. However, doctors and public health experts have warned that any uninformed or premature loosening of restriction strategies may lead to more infections.

Thought he president is impatient with the social distancing strategies, experts and officials say that those measures are working. In the meantime, these measures have led to a record unemployment spike and a stock market in peril. President Trump said throughout the week that areas that are not hot spots should let businesses to reopen. He even said that he wants the U.S. economy to “open” back up by Easter Sunday.

But, even if Trump were to say that the new guidelines under which coronavirus social distancing measures could be relaxed; they will hardly affect the more than 20 states where governors have issued stay-at-home orders and business closures.

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