(FreedomJournal.Org)- The United States now holds another title as a world leader, but this time, it’s a dubious one.
The U.S. surpassed both Italy and China Thursday in terms of the number of confirmed coronavirus cases. As of Thursday, there were at least 82,100 confirmed cases, and many health officials are warning that the country is only just in the beginning stages of the outbreak.
Dr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute said:
“We are in for a bumpy ride for the next 12 to 18 months. If we are aggressive now about stopping things, shutting down, building up a test regime, we can then open up again … and most places can go back to work. But only when we are ready. And we are nowhere near ready now.”
That sentiment would certainly contrast with President Donald Trump’s hopes to have many industries and sectors of the country opened up again by Easter Sunday, which is a little more than two weeks away. Even Anthony Fauci, a top health official who has been the medical face of the coronavirus situation, said that was an “aspirational projection” by the president.
“He’s listening to us when we say we really got to reevaluate it, in real time, and any decision we make has to be based on the data,” he said.
Trump has indicated that he would like to open up some areas of the country that haven’t experienced significant outbreaks, urging people to re-open businesses and schools, and maybe even loosening the guidelines for things such as social distancing. White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Brix has said 40% of America has “extraordinary low rates,” with about 19 states that have less than 200 cases.
But with spikes beginning to happen in other areas of the country such as Detroit, Chicago, Dallas and New Orleans, a lot of officials are very concerned about such a plan.
As Jha said:
“Right now, what’s happening in New York, in California, in Washington state, we’re going to see that in Louisiana. We’re going to see that in Florida. We’re going to see that in Arizona. There’s a lot of places coming that I’m very worried about.”
California had an early outbreak, but that state didn’t surge quite as quickly as New York did. In California, there are more than 3,000 cases, and some health officials are concerned that it could be in for a similar explosion in cases that New York has seen.
In Michigan alone, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases increased from only 350 to almost 3,000 in just one week. Illinois went from about 600 last week to more than 2,500.
And Jefferson and Orleans parishes, which comprise much of the metro New Orleans area, are among the top seven counties nationwide in terms of deaths per 100,000 residents where areas are reporting at least 100 cases.
This all begs the question just if this is really just the beginning of the outbreak in the United States, and how long it may take to slow down.