US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — Americans set to live in one of the “toughest and hardest weeks of their lives”, US health officials warned on Sunday where the new coronavirus continues to cause death, particularly in New York State.
“Next week will be a time like Pearl Harbor, like September 11, except that it will not be localized, it will be nationwide,” warned federal public health administrator Jerome Adams on NBC.
“It’s going to be a bad week” with an “escalation” of macabre balance sheets, added epidemiologist Anthony Fauci, who advises the White House in the response to the crisis. Even if the confinement of a large part of the population produces results, “we find it difficult to control” the pandemic, he recognized.
With more than 320,000 Covid-19 cases identified, the United States crossed the threshold of 9,000 dead on Sunday, including more than 4,000 in New York alone, the epicenter of the pandemic.
Nearly 600 people have died in the past 24 hours in the state, slightly less than the 630 deaths counted the day before, but “it is still too early” to draw conclusions, said Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo.
New York State may be “very close to the peak” of contamination or “this peak may be a plateau and we are on it”, he said, cautious.
– A “horrible” period –
In the meantime, the state health system is already “under stress” for lack of “enough equipment and professionals”, he insisted.
President Donald Trump, who also expects a “horrible” period, announced Saturday the dispatch of a thousand military doctors and nurses to New York to help cope with the influx of patients.
The first 325, expected as early as Sunday, will be assigned to public hospitals in New York City, where the situation is most tense, said Cuomo.
The others will be sent to a Manhattan conference center transformed by the army into a gigantic 2,500-bed hospital, Defense Minister Mark Esper said on Sunday.
As for the military hospital ship the Comfort, which is docked in the port of New York like the Mercy in Los Angeles, it will eventually “be open to patients of Covid-19 if it becomes necessary,” he said. added.
“For the moment we are keeping them in reserve” so that we can redeploy them if the epidemic strikes elsewhere, he explained. But “if the virus gets too hard in New York or Los Angeles, we will be ready to open them to coronavirus patients,” said the minister.
– “Patchwork” –
Beyond New York, several states are badly affected, such as Louisiana, Illinois or Michigan, whose Democratic governors called on Sunday for a federal action plan to harmonize precautionary measures.
“Not having a national strategy for the whole country, but a patchwork that depends on the governors, creates in my opinion a porous situation for the Covid-19,” said Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer, while nine states, from the center and south, have not adopted containment measures for their population.
“The virus knows no borders,” added Illinois Governor Jay Pritzker. “It is up to the federal government to tell all the governors to take containment measures,” he added, reproaching President Trump for being “reluctant” to face these costly measures economically.
These nine states, including Iowa, Arkansas or the two Dakotas, are big producers of foodstuffs “and they are struggling to find the means to continue to feed the country with a cloistered population at home,” argued the chief medical officer Jerome Adams.
“But I would like to tell them: give us a month, a week, what you can!”, He pleaded. “There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but everyone has to play the game.”
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