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With 3,900 deaths as against 3,310 in China, US prepares for worst in fight against coronavirus

Mangalore Today News Network

New York, Apr 01, 2020: The United States, which has become the new coronavirus hotspot in the world surpassing China with 3,900 deaths as against 3,310 in the Asian giant, seems to be preparing for the worst. According to the Johns Hopkins University, the total number of deaths in the United States due to the deadly coronavirus has reached 3,900 on Wednesday morning, exceeding the 2,977-death toll of 9/11 terrorist attack in the country. The number of confirmed cases in the US is 189,035 on Wednesday.

Whereas in China, where the virus is believed to have originated, has reported 3,310 deaths and total number of confirmed 82,294 cases, according to the Johns Hopkins University real-time tracker, Zee reported.



Both the United States and China trail behind Italy and Spain, where 12,428 and 8,464 people infected with the novel coronavirus have died. Importantly, the number of confirmed infections in the United States has risen to 189,035 - the highest in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Here’s how quickly the US moved into first place for number of COVID-19 cases.

The US is headed for a "tough two weeks", President Donald Trump has warned, advising people to be prepared for the "hard days" ahead, as the country fights the fast-spreading coronavirus pandemic that the White House projects could claim one to two lakh lives in the coming weeks.

The US now appears to be staring at questions about its preparedness and the stark prospects of more than 100,000 people dying in the pandemic.

New York City, the epicentre of the pandemic where 1,096 have died, gave a preview of how the situation could unfold: Outside some city hospitals that had run out of space in the morgue to store the bodies, freezer trucks were parked with bodies being brought out on forklifts. The New York Post quoted New York Funeral Directors Association official Mike Lanottes as saying that some cemeteries are finding it difficult to handle burials and a backlog could be developing.

The supply of personal protection equipment (PPE) for health professionals and first responders, sophisticated ventilators for patients and tests to determine who is affected dominates the response to the pandemic amid questions if there are enough in stock.

Trump and Vice President Mike Pence said that there is adequate stock and more are on the way, but others question if the supply can meet the needs of the upcoming onslaught. Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticised Trump for not preparing for the crisis.

She said on a TV programme that PPEs, ventilators and test kits are immediately needed. Pelosi accused Trump of not fully using his powers under the Defence Production Act to compel companies to manufacture them. "It will save lives," she said.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said that the state needed 30,000 ventilators in the coming weeks but was receiving only 4,000 from the federal government.

He accused the Trump administration of setting up a competition among states and itself in bidding for equipment, raising the prices, instead of having a centralised purchase system.

Because of the de-industrialisation of the US under previous administration, the US is ironically dependent for a lot of the equipment and supplies on China, which is the source of the pandemic and is getting huge profits from it.

The US is now making auto manufacturers like Ford and General Motors to make the ventilators that cost about USD 25,000 each. Trump said that some governors  were exaggerating their needs.

Federal agencies and the military have been deploying hospital ships and rapidly setting up field hospitals around the country.

Anthony Fauci and Deborah Brix, the medical experts on the Coronavirus Task Force (CTF), said that the worst phase was two weeks ahead and displayed the models that showed the possibility of 100,000 to 240,000 people dying before the pandemic`s end months away. And that number was if the US followed the best procedures for controlling its spread.

If it did not follow the guidelines for social distancing, the projections show that the death toll could be as high as one million, according to the projections they presented.

With a choice between the economy and health, Trump has extended till April the guidelines for combating COVID-19 with social distancing that has led to the closing of businesses and Stay-at-Home orders at its core. The statistical models showed that Washington State, where COVID-19 first surfaced, and California, had shown less steep increases compared to New York, having imposed strict restrictions early.

Trump, who has been accused of downplaying the magnitude of the pandemic and not acting soon enough, was sombre on Tuesday delivering the warning about the oncoming tragedy.

Calling himself a "cheerleader for the country," he defended his earlier optimistic stance saying, "I want to be positive. I don`t want to be negative. I`m a positive person."

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