It is a title that the United States would have done well. The USA is now the country with the most coronavirus patients. At the last count on Friday evening, 100,000 people were infected there and the authorities count 1,600 victims.
The accelerated spread of the disease is partly explained by a definite delay in ignition. President Donald Trump himself first downplayed the gravity of the epidemic, believing that its spread on American soil was not “inevitable”, thus going against the advice of health officials.
While the country was in dire need of tests, the government first refused to lift certain restrictions that would have allowed states to develop their own. At the same time, the first available ones were sent to the headquarters of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, which sent them back because they were defective. These restrictions were finally lifted on February 29 when the United States announced the first death of the Covid-19.
Lack of medical resources
The first case had been reported a month earlier. Enough to waste precious time. “If we had been able to trace the contacts that the infected people had, we could perhaps have found many more cases quickly, and isolated the places of high spread”, regrets Doctor Gabor Kelen, director of the department of medicine at emergency at Johns Hopkins University.
The United States also sins in the fight against the disease because of a lack of medical means and local decisions which sometimes lack consistency. If New York State and its 45,000 cases for 500 deaths is the first focus of infection, New Jersey, California, Washington State, Michigan or Illinois are also seeing the disease progress rapidly without response clear national.
“The United States is not a monolith, there are 50 states with different responses from local governors and public health departments, annoyed Dr. Thomas Tsai, professor of public health at Harvard. I think what we really need is a coordinated national effort. ” Currently, only 60% of the 300 million people in the United States are expected to remain homebound.
“The case fatality rate is not reassuring”
These various factors therefore raise fears of a massive wave of the epidemic that the policies put in place by Donald Trump would not be able to stem despite a still low mortality rate. “The case fatality rate is not reassuring,” said David Fisman, an epidemiologist at the University of Toronto. It will increase because people take time to die. My prediction is that the United States is on the brink of an absolutely disastrous epidemic “
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Forecasts from the University of Washington medical school therefore forecast an epidemic peak around mid-April, with a death toll stagnating around 80,000 from June. According to their model, this number should be between a minimum of 38,000 deaths and a maximum of 162,000. In comparison, the flu killed 34,000 people in the United States during the epidemic last winter.