Reasons why the US is the world leader in confirmed cases of Covid-19

Public health experts point to various political decisions that would have contributed to the spread of the virus
Reasons why the US is the world leader in confirmed cases of Covid-19
Washington. - Since the first case of a person contaminated by the new coronavirus was known in late January, until now, when the total has reached 100,000+, the United States has become the country with the highest number of patients.
About 1,500 people have died in the country so far from Covid-19, although for the moment the death rate is still much lower than that of Italy and that of several European countries, AFP said.

How did you get here? And what will happen next?
Tests, tests, tests

The public health experts say that if not yet well has reached the peak of the epidemic, there are several reasons why the Covid-19 has spread in the United States.

At the beginning of the outbreak, President Donald Trump was accused of downplaying its severity, stating that the sustained spread in the community was not "inevitable", even after a senior health official argued otherwise.
As the pandemic took hold, first in the west coast states of Washington and California, the country was unable to meaningfully track cases because the evidence was so slow.
Initially, the government refused to relax regulatory obstacles that would have allowed state and local health departments to develop their own test kits based on guidelines provided by the World Health Organization, and the first samples were sent to the headquarters of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta.

The CDC then referred faulty test kits to the states, which deepened the delay.
On February 29, the date of the first death from the new coronavirus in the United States and more than a month after the first confirmed case, the government lifted that ban.
The private sector joined later.
"If we could have tracked the contacts of the contaminated ones, we could have found many more cases quickly and closed the hot spots," said Gabor Kelen, director of emergency medicine at Johns Hopkins University.
US officials have defended their response, repeatedly claiming that tests developed by South Korea, which is considered a best practice example for its immediate and forceful reaction, sometimes produce false positives.

Kelen disagrees with that reasoning. "One thing I teach my residents is that something is better than nothing, that sooner is better than later, and that if one test is good, two are better. The perfect is the enemy of the good," he said.

The absence of a national response

The densely populated state of New York has become the epicenter of the outbreak in the United States with nearly 45,000 cases as of Friday, about half the national total, and more than 500 deaths.
Its governor, Andrew Cuomo, predicts a peak of infected in approximately 21 days, around April 17.
Neighboring New Jersey follows New York, then the west coast states California and Washington, and then Michigan and Illinois in the Midwest, with groups concentrated in major cities.
States or areas that have not yet experienced sudden increases should not be accommodating, said Thomas Tsai, a surgeon general and professor of health policy at Harvard.
"The United States is not a monolith, there are 50 different states with different government responses from governors and state departments of public health," he said.
"I think what is needed is a truly coordinated effort at the national level," he said, warning that continuing an "irregular response" in people's movements would lead other states to experience an upward spiral of cases similar to New York's.
As of Friday afternoon, 61% of the US population of 330 million people was called to confinement, which means that the remaining 39% have not been.
Now what?
A relatively positive point is that the mortality rate based on confirmed cases has remained low so far: 1.5%, compared to 7.7% in Spain and 10% in Italy.
On whether that rate will continue, experts are divided.
"The low CFR (case fatality rate) is not reassuring," said David Fisman, an epidemiologist at the University of Toronto.

"It will rise because it takes time for people to die. My best guess is that the United States is on the cusp of an absolutely disastrous outbreak."
The experts agree that urgent action is required with social distancing across the country to try to "flatten the curve," reducing the rate of infection so that hospitals do not overflow.
But from a scientific point of view, the pathogen could "mutate down" and become less virulent over time, Kelen said, as similar viruses often do.

Experts argue that the summer heat and humidity could also delay its spread.

From the University of Washington School of Medicine; it is believed that the peak of the outbreak may come in mid-April.
The death toll would continue to rise, but would then stabilize at about 80,000 in July, they estimate.
Their model suggests a total of 38,000 deaths at the low end and 162,000 at the high end.

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