US Could Become COVID-19’s New Epicenter

 US President Donald Trump announces that he is declaring a national emergency during news conference with National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci (2nd from L),  Washington, DC, March 13, 2020. Image: Drew Angerer/Getty
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US President Donald Trump announces that he is declaring a national emergency during news conference with National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci (2nd from L), Washington, DC, March 13, 2020. Image: Drew Angerer/Gett

The US could become the new COVID-19 epicenter, the WHO said today, pointing to a “very large acceleration in cases, Reuters reports.

40% of all new cases tracked by the WHO in the last 24 hours have come  from the US—marking a sharp acceleration.

And Harvard epidemiologist Marc Lipstich believes the true number of US cases could be 10X higher than the 33,000 reported by the CDC. Why? Because the US isn’t ­­­­testing enough to get a true picture, he writes in the Washington Post. He adds, “No country has controlled transmission effectively without massive testing capacity.”

“This week it's going to get bad,” added US Surgeon General Jerome Adams yesterday, as NPR reports.

But, President Trump has been hinting at loosening restrictions “fairly soon” and reopening the economy, flouting public health advice, Axios reports. 

The Quote: “I can’t jump in front of the microphone and push him down,”said Anthony Fauci, director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, when asked by ScienceInsider about sharing the podium with the president when he says something inaccurate.   

A Cautionary Tale for the US: After acting fast and gaining an the upper hand against COVID-19, Hong Kong let its guard down too soon, CNN reports. Confirmed cases doubled in the past week. Now the territory is reinstating restrictions to tamp down this “sudden wave” also emerging elsewhere in Asia.

A Different Leadership Approach: In Maryland, Gov. Larry Hogan said Monday his state would wage “twin battles” against both COVID-19 and economic disaster, GHN reports. Hogan launched new closures but also business grants and loans. He also announced a field hospital would be created out of the 400,000-square-foot Baltimore Convention Center and run by Johns Hopkins Medicine and the University of Maryland Medical System. “We don't want our businesses to die and we don't want our people to lose their jobs,” he said. “We also don't want to lose the lives of so many people.”

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