The U.S. surpassed China for highest number of COVID-19 cases in the world on Thursday (local time). It is analyzed as a result of President Donald Trump’s lackadaisical sense of reality, health authorities’ failure in early handling of the virus, poor medical care system and the spread in the New York City, the largest city in the U.S.
President Trump underestimated the risk of the novel coronavirus in the early days saying tens of thousands die from flu in the U.S. He also said the virus would vanish in April when the temperatures rise and American pharmaceutical companies would find a vaccine soon.
Early responses were careless as well. News outlets including The New York Times reported that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s daily test capacity had been only 400 until early March, which was a lot lower than South Korea’s daily test of 10,000. Many suspected patients in the U.S.could not test for the virus infection as it charged some 3,000 dollars per test in early days, which resulted in aggravated situation.
There is a severe shortage of medical supplies as well. New York City needs at least 30,000 respirators, but it has only some 8,000.
New York City worsened the crisis due to poor quarantine in the early stage and has now become the epicenter of the coronavirus crisis. New York State had the first patient on March 1, but the number surged past 44,000 as of Friday, just in 25 days. The increase rate is likely to continue as the state is densely populated (19.5 million). New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio predicted that half of New York City (4.2 million) could eventually be infected.
The Washington Post reported that a hospital in New York City set up makeshift morgues using refrigerated trucks to hold bodies. There is a growing concern over medical staff infection after a 36-year-old female nurse died on Tuesday, 10 days after contracting the virus.