As the number of Coronavirus cases surges furiously in the US, President Donald Trump finds himself in a bind.
Throughout February and the first half of this month, he insisted there was nothing to worry about; it will all blow away by mid-April when the hot weather comes.
In his policy pronouncements by twitter, this is what Trump said on March 9:
So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!
As of today (March 29), the number of confirmed cases in the US has surpassed 131,000 with 2,329 deaths, admittedly far less than Italy’s more than 10,779 deaths, but this will bring cold comfort to Trump.
America’s leading infectious diseases expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sundayoffered this grim prognosis.
“I would say between 100,000 and 200,000 cases,” he said, then quickly corrected himself saying he meant “deaths”.
“We’re going to have millions of cases."
But he added “I don’t want to be held to that” because the pandemic is “such a moving target”.
According to worldometers.info, that updates worldwide cases every five minutes, as of 17:57 GMT today, there were 707,926 confirmed cases worldwide with 33,529 deaths.
By the time most people read this post, the number of cases would have surpassed these figures.
Meanwhile, the United Nations donated 250,000 masks to hard-hit New York.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres announced donation of the 250,000 masks, which had “just been located in United Nations storage facilities”, for use in New York City.
Why the UN did not donate these masks to Iran, that has been hit much worse and its plight worsened as a result of illegal sanctions imposed by the US and its allies?
The world’s self-proclaimed ‘sole superpower’ is now begging the rest of the world for help.
The US spends hundreds of billions of dollars on its military ($932 billion a year), while cutting funding to health services.
Some expert studies have predicted that the US death toll could top 2.2 million.
Trump likes to boast that America is number one in everything.
With 2.3 million people in prison, the US leads the world by far in the number of incarcerations. US prisons are fertile breeding grounds for spread of the deadly virus.
And now, with the highest number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus and soon to lead the world in mortality rate, this is one distinction the rest of the world would be glad to let Trump have it.