Experts warn of death toll could go up to 100,000-200,000

THE CORONAVIRUS pandemic the world is now fighting against is personal to me. My husband is a surgeon and is part of the pool of doctors called to assist in the care of coronavirus patients. My sister-in-law in Boston has just tested positive after taking care of her elderly patient who also tested positive.

There are so many more people who have been unselfishly and courageously fighting this war, risking their own health, safety, and even their lives so we may live. They are the front-liners in this war zone, those who cannot stay home because they have a sacred vow and duty to fulfill.

They are the doctors, nurses, other healthcare professionals, first responders, 9-1-1 operators, dispatchers in the Department of Emergency Management. They are the police, firemen, the pharmacy personnel, supermarket and farmers’ market personnel, and volunteers.

They are the government officials who have been true and faithful to their oaths as public servants. They have been on top of this emergency, collaborating with scientists and experts, and health officials in navigating through this labyrinth in search of ways to slow down and stop the outbreak, find a possible cure and vaccine, provide health and support to hardworking Americans whose life and livelihood had been disrupted by this crisis.

EXPECT A SURGE in the number of coronavirus cases in the United States in the next three weeks, experts warn, urgently calling on government officials to prepare for the apex of the pandemic.

As of press time on Tuesday, March 31, the United States reported more than 770 deaths, the most in one day. This has been the trend that started this week — the exponential growth in the number of people infected by the virus, and those who did not make it.

As of Tuesday afternoon, more than 183,588 cases have been documented, and 3,780+ have died in the U.S.

Globally, there have been 850,500+ cases of people suffering from coronavirus, while 41,600+ have perished.

Dr. Anthoiny Fauci, the leading expert in infectious diseases and member of the White House’s coronavirus task force, warned on CNN’s “State of the Union” that “based on modeling of the current pace of the coronavirus’ spread in the U.S., ‘between 100,000 and 200,000’ people may die from COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.”

This estimate of 100,000-to-200,000 death figure is a middle-of-the-road estimate, Dr. Fauci said, much lower than the worst-case scenario predictions.

As NPR reported, public health experts explain that “because of undocumented chains of transmission in many parts of the country, the number of new coronavirus cases in the U.S. is set to keep surging as more and more test results become known.”

However, Dr. Fauci emphasized that the prediction is “such a moving target that you could so easily be wrong and mislead people.”

The movement would then be contingent on how urgently the country moves — both the government and the people” to help “flatten the curve.”

As Health.com explains: The “flattening the curve” chart illustrates the wave of new coronavirus cases expected to hit. A high curve means the virus is spreading quickly; some people won’t get the medical care they need, and the number of deaths is likely to increase. A low curve means coronavirus is spreading slowly, which gives doctors the time and resources to treat more people (and hopefully save more lives).

The chart above — shared by Drew Harris, a population health analyst at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia on Twitter — was based on another chart in a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) paper.

As Health.com reported, Harris drew a dotted line onto the chart, showing that the smoothness of the curve could be the difference between treating the disease and health care providers struggling to cope with the demand for help. It summarizes the importance of taking measures to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

“The ideal goal in fighting an epidemic or pandemic is to completely halt the spread. But merely slowing it—mitigation—is critical,” Harris was quoted by the New York Times.

This is so consequential and critical to the survival of people already infected by the virus. ”If the coronavirus is passed on too quickly and too many people become infected at one time, the resources available to fight it could quickly become overwhelmed. By staggering the number of COVID-19 cases over a longer period of time, everyone who becomes infected can have better access to care,” Health.com explained.

IGNORE the lies and misinformation being forced feed to us by President Donald Trump by his irresponsible use of the bully pulpit to raise his personal ratings and feed his delusional insatiable desire to hold on to power, at the expense of the safety and lives of the American people.

As the New York Times reported, Trump’s very proven characteristics have made him unfit to lead the country especially in a global emergency of this magnitude:

  • profound need for personal praise
  • propensity to blame others
  • lack of human empathy
  • penchant for rewriting history
  • disregard for expertise
  • distortion of facts
  • impatience with scrutiny

REMEMBER: We would have not been in this desperate situation had Trump not eliminated the White House National Security Council Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense, established by former President Barack Obama, to prepare the United States for future pandemics like COVID-19. This is consistent with Trump’s obsession to erase Obama’s legacy in America.

We wouldn’t have been in this desperate situation had Trump not cut back on the funding for health institutions like the CDC.

The CDC’s rationale: It works 24/7 to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the U.S. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are chronic or acute, curable or preventable, human error or deliberate attack, the CDC fights disease and supports communities and citizens to do the same.

The CDC increases the health security of our nation. As the nation’s health protection agency, it saves lives and protects people from health threats. To accomplish our mission, it conducts critical science and provides health information that protects our nation against expensive and dangerous health threats, and responds when these arise.

WE WOULD HAVE NOT BEEN BEHIND in the war against the coronavirus had Trump heeded the classified warning of U.S. intelligence agencies in January and February about the global danger posed by the coronavirus. Instead, President Trump and his minions in the Republican Party and Fox News downplayed the threat and failed to take action that might have slowed the spread of the pathogen, according to U.S. officials familiar with spy agency reporting, as reported by the Washington Post.

All these because Trump did not want the growing “numbers” of the pandemic cases in the United States to affect his own “numbers” in economic terms he wants to brag about for his re-election bid.

We would not have been behind had Trump and his team followed the National Security Council’s pandemic playbook. The 69-page document, finished in 2016, provided a step by step list of priorities. The Trump administration was briefed on the playbook’s existence in 2017, which was then ignored by the administration.

We would not have been behind if instead of self-aggrandizing and self-promoting in his daily briefings, instead of fighting with governors and mayors and demanding “appreciation” from them, Trump should seriously and pragmatically listen to their inputs based on facts on the ground and carry out their suggestions to meet their needs and taking care of their states and citizens– more testing kits, protective gears for the front liners, ventilators, hospital beds, etc.

LISTEN instead to your governors and city mayors and COMPLY with their orders to exercise social distancing, work from home, shelter in place and stay at home OR face punishments like imprisonment and fines pursuant to the rule of law, just to protect us all.

HUWAG MAGING PASAWAY!

GOD BLESS US ALL.

Gel Santos Relos has been in news, talk, public service and educational broadcasting since 1989 with ABS-CBN and is now serving the Filipino audience using different platforms, including digital broadcasting, and print, and is working on a new public service program for the community. You may contact her through email at [email protected], or send her a message via Facebook at Facebook.com/Gel.Santos.Relos.

Gel Santos Relos
Gel Santos Relos

Gel Santos Relos is the anchor of TFC’s “Balitang America.” Views and opinions expressed by the author in this column are solely those of the author and not of Asian Journal and ABS-CBN-TFC. For comments, go to www.TheFil-AmPerspective.com and www.facebook.com/Gel.Santos.Relos

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