Back to business – preferably as soon as possible. That’s what US President Trump wants. But the number of corona infections in the United States is increasing rapidly – it is particularly dramatic in big cities like New York.
Measures to contain the corona pandemic in the United States could be relaxed in just over two weeks – at least says US President Donald Trump. But experts, many politicians and above all the numbers speak against the fact that it will happen. Because: According to Johns Hopkins University, more than 55,000 infections have already been reported in the USA – on Tuesday alone there were more than 10,000 new infections.
Center of the pandemic?
The World Health Organization (WHO) therefore warned that the US could soon become the new global center of the pandemic. “We are now seeing a very strong acceleration in the number of cases,” said WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris. The United States “has a very large outbreak and an outbreak that is increasing in intensity”. The United States and Europe accounted for 85 percent of new infections reported in the past 24 hours.
The governor of the particularly affected state of New York, Andrew Cuomo, also raised the alarm. He spoke of “worrying and astronomical numbers”. The metropolis of New York is increasingly becoming the source of a fire in the corona crisis. Meanwhile, 60 percent of all new cases in the United States come from the New York area, US Vice President Mike Pence said Tuesday night at the White House.
The infection rate in the east coast metropolis is one in 1000 – around five to ten times higher than in the also severely affected state of Washington on the west coast of the USA. Pence called on New Yorkers who have left the city to enter a 14-day self-quarantine. “We have to consider the New York City area as a high-risk area.”
“We didn’t flatten the curve”
The Democrat Cumo also chose drastic words: “We have not flattened the curve, the curve is growing,” he said in a conference center that is currently being converted into an emergency hospital. The pandemic did not roll through the country like an “expert train” predicted by an expert, but like a “high-speed train”.
The governor warned that the number of hospital beds needed for intensive care patients could increase to 40,000 at the height of the pandemic. So far, only 3,000 such beds have been available in the state. Cuomo therefore called on the US government to provide New York with thousands of additional ventilators.
According to Cuomos, more than 25,000 cases of infection have been confirmed in the state on the east coast, including around 14,900 in New York City. At least 150 people were killed in the state.
Not only Cuomo is concerned about the development in Italy and is sure that it will also get worse in New York in the next few days. Especially because the promised help from the federal government in Washington is still a long way off.
Doctors are also alarmed: until recently, patients had come to the hospital with relatively mild symptoms, said Jolion McGreevy, head of the emergency room at Mount Sinai Hospital. But that changed within the past week. In the meantime, a lot of seriously ill people would have to be treated. “We knew that was coming,” said McGreevy. But many experts are surprised that it happened so quickly.
“A week ago it seemed ridiculous that it could happen to us like in Italy. Not today,” wrote Craig Smith, chief surgeon at Columbia University to colleagues.
Given this dramatic situation, New York’s governor condemned statements by President Trump that Americans should get ready to go back to work in two weeks so the economy could start up again. This would de facto sacrifice the old and the sick. “This is not the American way,” said Cuomo.