The US is currently on a lockdown as coronavirus cases continue to rise in the country, and the federal government is struggling to get testing kits to all affected areas. Reported cases right now stand at about 8,700 with over 100 deaths already reported.
The response of the White House to the pandemic has been highly criticized. The slow response, one that started with denying the severity of the pandemic, seems to have cost the nation the opportunity to act decisively to stop the spread of the virus.
Public health experts believe that it’s going to get worse before it gets better with estimated cases projected to hit hundreds of thousands in the coming days. The Trump administration has taken several measures in recent weeks to stem the spread.
The President announced that all flights from Europe with the exception of the UK are now banned. The White House in collaboration with Congress also released about $50 billion in emergency funds to help deal with the pandemic.
There are growing fears that the slow and lackluster response to the virus will have massive implications on public health and the US economy. There is even talk that if the current lockdown continues, the US could head into a recession in the coming months. The biggest challenge has been to ramp up testing for the virus. US president Donald Trump earlier claimed that the country was prepared to conduct testing across the country.
During a visit to the CDC, the president noted whilst wearing a “Keep America Great” hat that anybody who needs a test in the US will be able to get it. But it turns out that this is in fact not true. Recent reports show that even in cases where patients have shown severe symptoms of the COVID-19 virus, testing has been largely difficult.
Trump just recently invoked the Defense Production Act that forces private companies to produce relevant equipment needed to fight the pandemic. Essential things like face masks and respirators are currently running low.
US markets haven’t reacted well to the crisis. The Dow Jones has taken a beating, falling below the 20,000 mark for the first time since 2017. The virus has also eroded all the market gains witnessed during the Trump presidency.
There have also been calls for the president to shut down the markets and the country as part of an effort to save American lives and the US economy, which seems to be in turmoil right now.
The White House is also working on several stimulus packages designed to guard against any long-term effects the virus may have on the economy. But as of now the focus is on the effort by the administration to prevent the spread of the virus.
It’s becoming clear that the US could be staring down a major public health crisis, one that could paralyze the country for months. These latest developments come as China confirmed that no new cases of local transmissions have been reported.