WASHINGTON, DC: After several weeks of sharp criticism from the media and medical service providers, President Trump has finally started to realize the gravity of the COVID-19 situation and paying more attention to the ongoing coronavirus situation, the states are struggling with. He is now telling everyone, in his daily COVID-19 updates that he is sending supplies to the states that are in need, by working closely with different manufacturers and suppliers of such.
President Trump signed into law a $2tr coronavirus spending package on Friday for providing help for individuals and businesses affected by massive shut down of cities and businesses as ordered by the state and local governments. He also issued an executive order for Pentagon to call up retired and reserve military members to help with the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A couple of days back, I saw a message on our neighborhood website, from a nurse from a local home health care company. She asked neighbors and others for donations of sterilizing wipes, (that is used to clean blood pressure monitor cuffs, oxygen monitor, thermometers) sanitizers, surgical or other masks etc.
As a result, many neighbors donated medical wipes and homemade masks. Hospitals and clinics throughout the country are reporting lack of such necessities and test kits to test for the presence of COVID-19 virus in the patients, while the cases are climbing exponentially in major hot spots like New York City.
The total number of confirmed cases have soared to over 160,000 – the highest in the world, according to United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Additionally there have been over 3500 patients whose deaths can now be directly linked to the COVID19 virus. Most hospitals are in need of more Physical Protection Equipment (PPE) resources hindering their work. Some Nurses, doctors and other health workers have gone on the media lamenting the need for more equipment. They report that some ERs have very limited access to surgical and N95 masks.
They are especially critical of the authorities pointing out cases, such as Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, where some nurses were using plastic garbage bags in lieu of protective gear. They feel that, in the world’s richest country, there had been ample opportunities to make sure this didn’t happen, but it did.
There is a dire need for ventilators in New York City (and other cities), which is now the ground zero for coronavirus infected population requires 30,000 ventilators. The federal government while trying to get some of the biggest manufacturing giants, like GM and Boeing, to start manufacturing ventilators, has been able to only provide a small number from its defense forces medical equipment reserves.
President Trump was adamant at get back the country to normal by Easter Sunday 12th April. There were strong recommendation against it from his medical advisors, CDC and specifically Dr. Anthony Fauci, director National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) who asserts that “We are not to set the date, it’s the virus that will decide the timeline.” A close presidential advisor Dr. Deborah Brix on Monday warned that up to 200,000 people in the US could die from the coronavirus outbreak if “we do things almost perfectly.”
In view of all this opposition President Trump changed his mind on Monday and announced a new date of 30th April for the normalization of the country.
A majority of the country, is holding its collective breath, searching for a ray of light in the darkness that has descended on it, watching and waiting for all these steps to take effect.