The number of COVID-19 cases is on the rise again while President Donald J. Trump is holding rallies that defy public health guidelines.
On Friday, June 26, 2020, Vice President Mike Pence held the first White House COVID-19 task force to praise Trump for how he has handled the pandemic and cast aside concerns about a record spike in new infections.
After Pence announced that over 2.5 million Americans had tested positive for COVID-19. he said: “We have made a truly remarkable progress in moving our nation forward. We’ve all seen the encouraging news as we open up America again.”
Later that same day, the U.S. recorded over 40,000 new COVID-19 cases. This is the largest total in one day.
The Trump administration is struggling to put a consistent message forward about the COVID-19 pandemic. In the meantime, public health experts are encouraging Americans to wear masks and practice social distancing.
According to a former senior administration official: “They’re creating a cognitive dissonance in the country. It’s more than them being asleep at the wheel. They’re confusing people at this point when we need to be united.”
The Washington Post reported that “This portrait of a nation in crisis — and its failure to contain an epic pandemic — is based on interviews with 47 administration officials, lawmakers at the national and state level, congressional staff, federal and local health officials, public health experts and other current and former officials involved in the bungled and confused response.”
America is the world’s leader in COVID-19 cases and deaths, but this is in a large part due to human error. In May and June, the White House task force stopped its public briefings and meetings. Trump has been focused on an economic comeback which he branded the “transition to greatness.”
Anthony S. Fauci requested a few appearances in recent weeks. but according to two people who are close to the situation, his requests have been blocked by the White House. Fauci is America’s top infectious-disease expert and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. White House aides state that television interviewers try to goad Fauci into criticizing Trump or the administration’s approach to COVID-19, and Fauci is not always good about keeping his focus on the message his audience needs to hear, according to a senior administration official. Recently, Fauci was allowed to appear for a town hall on CNN.
It has been weeks and White House officials have argued over whether to hold the COVID-19 briefing or focus on other issues like the economy.
Now, COVID-19 is accelerating its advancement across the United States. Other countries are reopening their countries because their outbreaks are under control. European diplomats will be approving an arrangement that will reopen the European Union to travelers, but not to American tourists. COVID-19 is still rapidly spreading in the U.S.
Some states are reversing their decision to reopen their economies. Others are pausing for now. The new peak cases in the U.S. have alarmed public health experts and political allies.
“These epidemics are going to be hard to get under control. It’s going to continue to spread until you do something to intervene. I’m not sure we are taking enough forceful action to break the trend right now,” states Scott Gottlieb who is the former commissioner of the FDA and an informal advisor to the Trump administration.”
On Tuesday, June 30, the Trump administration made the decision to withdraw its membership from the World Health Organization. Dr. Ashish K. Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, says this will harm the health of the people around the world as well as the American leadership and scientific prowess.
Jha addressed the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and told them the decision to terminate its membership from WHO will “harm the health of the people at a time when Americans are getting sick and dying at an unprecedented rate.”
The most recent COVID-19 data on state targets indicate that most states are failing to test enough people to know “where the virus is spreading and break the chains of infection.”
By Jeanette Vietti
The Washington Post: With Trump leading the way, America’s coronavirus failures exposed by record surge in new infections
new Kerala: US withdrawal from WHO will harm people’s health, scientific prowess: Harvard Global Health Director
MENAFN.com: US exit from WHO devastating loss in Covid war: Harvard Global Health Director
Featured Image Courtesy of Duane Story’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Top Image Courtesy of United States Mission Geneva’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License