[OPINION] We are losing the war against COVID-19

COVID-19 did not magically disappear. It did not miraculously go away in the spring nor in the summer.

COVID-19 is, in fact, surging uncontrollably and we are losing the war against the coronavirus.

FACTS:

On Thursday, November 19, the United States hit a new record high of 187,428 new cases in one day alone.

A new record high in hospitalization rate with nearly 80,700 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in the U.S. on Thursday. As of Friday, the U.S. was averaging 74,063 current hospitalizations over the last 7 days — up 19.13% compared to the week prior.

Skyrocketing nearly 12 million coronavirus cases

Tragic heartbreaking truth: 253,000 Americans have died and counting.

NO, it is not just that we are testing more. The facts reveal that the hospitalization rate and the death rate have escalated as well. Testing reveals the truth. Testing helps in isolating those who are infected so that they will not infect more people. Testing helps in contact tracing so that those who are potentially exposed may be quarantined while awaiting test results to help stop the spread of the virus.

From 16 confirmed cases on March 2, we have seen an uptick in the general direction of the infection rate of this deadly virus. There were three surges in new cases so far:

Spring: 36,741 on April 24

Summer: 75,687 on July 16

Fall: 197,428 on November 19

There have been 1,962 Americans who have died on November 19 alone.

These aren’t just numbers. These are human beings who died from COVID-19 without a family member beside them to hold their hand, to pray with them, to say goodbye to, to say “I love you” to for the last time, to say “I forgive you” and “Forgive me” to.

These aren’t just numbers. They are mothers, fathers, siblings, daughters, sons, grandmothers, grandfathers, uncles, aunts, friends, and neighbors. The empty chairs this Thanksgiving and the holiday season will be an excruciating sight to behold. It is real. The virus is real. COVID-19 is real.

The pandemic is real no matter how much the President of the United States has downplayed its threat because he did not want to hurt his re-election bid. He lied not because he did not want Americans to panic.

Trump lied because he was already in a panic knowing that safety restrictions must be imposed to mitigate the spread of the virus to save lives would mean closing down businesses, places of worship, schools, and wherever people gather. He knew this would lead to people losing their jobs, and the pulling down of the stock market index, the GDP and other numbers he needed to boast on for re-election. These are the numbers that matter most to him — to his personal interest and political agenda.

And so he lied to us, the American people. He gave the impression with his doublespeak that this virus was a hoax; in fact, many people who believed in him died not knowing nor admitting it was COVID that killed them.

He doubled down on going against public safety measures advised by health officials and scientists, despite how he, family members, some staff and Republican Party leaders reportedly contracted the disease. Worse — he denigrated them and advised his followers not to comply with them.

He did not support testing, contact tracing, social distancing, avoiding crowds and even held crowded political rallies that added to the infection, hospitalization and death statistics.

This is THE major reason why he lost the election. This is THE major reason why people trusted President-elect Joe Biden more to lead the country in the next four years.

After the election, we see Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris hard at work talking to health experts and scientists and people in the front line in the hospitals, businesses and schools and the American people in general on what we can all do together to stop the virus from spreading and help save more lives.

The new leaders advocate for the need to wear masks, and practice social distancing, hygiene and avoiding crowds and work with state leadership and health officials toward a national goal and strategy to defeat the virus because it is an important pre-requisite to building back the country’s economy better.

But President Donald Trump has conceded defeat from the virus and has not spoken to the American people about this for a long time, has not empathized with families bereaved, and has not met with his coronavirus task force for five months now.

Yet, Trump would not concede that he lost and Biden won, and so he has ordered his administration not to recognize Biden as President-elect, refusing to cooperate with Biden in the orderly transfer of executive power so there would not be a disruption in the government’s ability to provide national security and essential services to the American people, pursuant to the President Transition Act of 1963. He denied sharing briefing, information with the Biden transition team and has withheld the release of funds appropriated toward this transition.

The light at the end of the tunnel come in the form of two vaccines, which have shown promise in defeating the virus: Moderna with 94.5% effectivity rate, and Pfizer and BioNTech with 95% effectivity rate.

These vaccines could be rolled out next summer and it takes time for the government to plan on its effective distribution to help save as many lives as possible. Trump is blocking this effort because of his delusion that he won, contrary to Biden’s win over him in both popular and electoral votes, and because of his vindictiveness against the Democrats. The pride and ego matter more to him than to save the lives of the American people he has sworn to defend and protect.

We are losing the war against COVID-19 because Trump sided with the invisible enemy.

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The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Asian Journal, its management, editorial board and staff.

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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 gelrelos@icloud.com, or send her a message via Facebook at Facebook.com/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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