The United States has confirmed almost 4,500 Coronavirus cases as of late Monday afternoon, and there’ve been at least 77 deaths from the disease in the U.S. Researchers say that for “every confirmed case, there are most likely another five to 10 people in the community with undetected infections,” The New York Times adds, and although these people may be fine, they could pass the illness to a vulnerable person who could suffer. Nevertheless, even as issues ranging from delayed testing to lagging resource allocation pile up, Trump proudly and startlingly ignorantly lavished praise on his administration’s Coronavirus response in a Monday conference call with a slew of U.S. governors.
The Times notes that on the call, which the publication obtained a recording of, Trump ‘wrongfully said, “we broke down a system that was broken, very badly broken” and vowed to create one “that I think is going to be the talk of the world.”’ In reality, there remains no evidence that any Obama-era policy has had any effect on testing capabilities in the current situation, which have — in reality — been hamstrung by arbitrary decisions like the attempted production (and restrained distribution) of testing kits domestically, even though the World Health Organization had some testing kits apparently available.
As The Times reports:
‘In fact, although the Food and Drug Administration under the Obama administration released guidance on testing, it never completed regulations on the matter, and experts have said repeatedly that no moves by the agency should have affected the testing problems.’
The publication adds that on the same call, Trump apparently admonished governors to pursue their own leads for obtaining crucial supplies like respirators, which reportedly “surprised” some of those on the call. In a time of national public health emergency, with a president at the helm who’s shown no hesitation to approve large sums for pet projects (like the border wall) in the past, the president is apparently essentially telling governors “oh, too bad, you’re on you’re own.”
‘Respirators, ventilators, all of the equipment — try getting it yourselves. We will be backing you, but try getting it yourselves. Point of sales, much better, much more direct if you can get it yourself.’
It’s incredible that on the very same conference call on which Trump insisted that his administration’s Coronavirus response would be the talk of the world, he essentially admitted that his team hardly even has a response plan at all.
Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico noted:
‘If one state doesn’t get the resources and materials they need, the entire nation continues to be at risk.’
Indeed — after all, if one individual is able to carry the virus freely because of a failure to appropriately care for the sick, then that burden could increase and increase.
New Mexico: We are in this together. Please remember we are in a public health emergency. Please stay home as much as possible. Please buy only what you need at the store. We will do everything we can to weather the storm. #AllTogetherNM pic.twitter.com/syI093S05H
— Michelle Lujan Grisham (@GovMLG) March 16, 2020
With that issue in mind, government restrictions have gotten handed down with significant speed. Just this Monday, half a dozen Bay Area counties issued an order for their residents to shelter in place for all but the most essential activities, which The Times notes includes “essential work, going to the grocery store, picking up medication and even walking the dog.”