America, Trump slow to address the coronavirus
Since 1975 we have been living in the era of emerging infectious diseases. As a physician interested in disease prevention, I feel I must speak out about the abysmal handling of the COVID-19 pandemic by the current administration in Washington. The countries that have dealt with the COVID crises the most effectively have had strong national leaders who immediately instituted science-based public health measures which included extensive, accurate testing early on and adequate PPE for their health care workers.
The Trump administration’s response to this crisis has been slow, erratic, inadequate, and often politicized, which has resulted in thousands of unnecessary deaths, prolongation of the disease and our economic and home-bound misery. Look at the numbers: By April 20 the U.S. had almost twice as many COVID deaths as country number two, Italy — the U.S.had 759,674 cases of COVID-19 with 40,661 deaths, Italy 178,972 cases and 23,660 deaths.
It’s been several months since the world was warned about cases of a contagious, deadly virus in China. Yet we are still far from having what we need to do adequate testing to safely move forward with our economy. Furthermore, our health-care providers on the front lines still don’t have adequate protective gear. According to GetUsPPE.org, a recent survey of 978 health care facilities across the U.S. revealed that nearly all had no supplies remaining of at least one form of PEE, and less than a week’s supply of others.
Finally, given that we live on a crowded planet, are in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, and that additional waves of the current pandemic and other pandemics are sure to follow, this is not the right time to stop funding the World Health Organization. They may have some problems, and we need to help fix them, but as the American Medical Association says, this is “a dangerous move at a precarious moment for the world.”
Dr. Greg Feinsinger