A nurse watches an ambulance leaving Elmhurst Hospital, Queens, New York City, April 20, 2020 (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)
The US death toll from Coronavirus has passed 250,000.
The toll reached 250,485 on Wednesday with yet another day of more than 1,000 fatalities. Confirmed cases, rising at a record rate, are 11,527,440.
The pandemic has exceeded the warning in March of the Government’s top Coronavirus expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, of 240,000 deaths if adequate measures were not implemented.
But with Donald Trump objecting to those measures and ostracizing experts such as Fauci, medical and public health specialists are projecting 2,000 deaths per day through the winter. The University of Washington’s Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation estimates almost 440,000 fatalities by March 1.
There is hope that a vaccine will be available, based on successful trials by the pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna, but plans for distribution are being hindered by the Trump team’s refusal to cooperate with the incoming Biden Administration. Trump’s medical confidante, the neuroradiologist and Fox commentator Scott Atlas, continues to promote herd immunity and denounce any containment such as the wearing of masks.
Thirty-one states set seven-day records for cases last week. Hospitalizations were at a high mark of 76,830 on Tuesday.
Trump said nothing about the pandemic, let alone the death toll, yesterday. Instead he tweeted disinformation and unsupported claims about the November 3 election.
President-elect Joe Biden held a virtual meeting with frontline health care workers and pledged an extensive, coordinated response as soon as he takes office on January 20.
States and Cities Announce New Measures
Areas from New York City to Iowa were the latest to impose new restrictions on Wednesday.
New York City closed all 1,800 schools, with 1.1 million students, after the positivity rate reached 3%.
New York City has reached the 3% testing positivity 7-day average threshold. Unfortunately, this means public school buildings will be closed as of tomorrow, Thursday Nov. 19, out an abundance of caution.
We must fight back the second wave of COVID-19.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) November 18, 2020
The state of Kentucky and city of Denver, Colorado all announced suspensions of in-class instruction. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention deleted two documents, including “The Importance of Reopening America’s Schools this Fall”, demanded by Donald Trump and his political appointees.
Reversing her long-standing opposition to a mask mandate, Gov. Kim Reynolds of Iowa issued the order for all people to cover their faces when indoors in a public space for more than 15 minutes.
Ohio has introduced a nightly curfew. Maryland orders the closure of all restaurants and bars by 10 p.m. Mississippi extended a mask mandate to more counties. Pennsylvania is requiring all people entering the state to be tested on arrival.