This weekend, both President Donald Trump and the U.S. Surgeon General each issued dire warnings about how the coronavirus pandemic is going to unfold in the upcoming days. The President tweeted “a rough two weeks are coming up!”, echoing what Surgeon General Jerome Adams had to say.
“Well, it’s tragically fitting that we’re talking at the beginning of Holy Week because this is going to be the hardest and the saddest week of most Americans’ lives, quite frankly.”
“This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment, only it’s not going to be localized. It’s going to be happening all over the country. And I want America to understand that,” Adams said on Fox News Sunday.
This projection was based on the trajectory that the virus took in China and Italy. Both countries are farther along on the COVID-19 timeline, which means the worst may still be to come in America.
Is the U.S. the New Epicenter for the Coronavirus?
Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, added to the tread of President Trump’s tweets. He warned that although the spread of the virus is slowing in many cities, it’s poised to explode in others.
- Florida: Gottlieb says the number of cases are “doubling every 3.5 to 4 days”. As of Sunday evening there were 12,350 confirmed cases and 221 deaths in the state.
- New Orleans: Because of residents’ high rates of chronic health conditions such as obesity and diabetes, the city’s coronavirus death rate is seven times higher than New York City’s.
- Southern California: 54% of San Diego County’s 17,763 coronavirus cases have been diagnosed within the last six days.
Over the weekend the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States surpassed 325,000 and the death toll passed 9,200. On Sunday alone, there were over 24,000 new cases and more than 1100 deaths.
Hope Amidst the Coronavirus Crisis
By far, New York has the greatest number of cases and deaths in the United States, with 122,056 and 4,159, respectively. That is close to 40% of all cases nationwide. But with a sample size that large, any news coming from the state could be meaningful.
On Saturday, the number of daily deaths dipped for the first time. New hospitalizations also fell, while the number of patients released went up. Comparing Saturday, April 4th to the previous day:
- Deaths dropped from 630 to 594.
- New hospitalizations fell, going from 1095 to 574.
- ICU admissions decreased from 395 to 250.
- Intubations were also reduced, 351 to 316.
- Hospital discharges climbed from 1,502 to 1,709.
And while Governor Andrew Cuomo says it’s “too early to tell” these positive numbers mean, they are encouraging, nonetheless. Like others, Governor Cuomo thinks that expanding testing will help.
“It is under development now, the rapid testing, and we are part of it. That is going to be the answer, I believe. And we get through it because we are New York State tough,” he says.
Surgeon General Adams also had hopeful words.
“And so, I want Americans to understand that, as hard as this week is going to be, there is a light at the end of the tunnel if everyone does their part for the next 30 days,” he said.
“This is going to be a test of our resolve. It’s going to be the test of our lives. But I am confident that we can come out on the other side, based on the data and based on what I know about the American people.”
Encouraging Words from the President’s Coronavirus Briefing
At his briefing on Sunday, President Trump listed the positives — the news from New York, increased shipments of N95 masks, more ventilators going out, and new purchases of hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malaria drug that has shown some promise.
He also reassured the American people.
“In the days ahead, America will endure the peak of this terrible pandemic. We are starting to see light at the end of the tunnel.”
“…With the faith of our families and the spirit of our people and the grace of our God, we will endure, we will overcome, we will prevail. We have learned so much; we will be stronger than ever.”