The virus will also be Chinese, but the American pandemic is now an original and disconcerting reality. The contagion is advancing at the rate of 40 thousand new cases per day. The curve, the only case among developed countries, has two humps. At the peak in mid-April, about 35,000 positives every 24 hours, this was added at the end of June. Since the beginning of the emergency there have been 2.5 million cases and 125 thousand deaths. The swarm of Covid-19 has moved south, in the so-called Sun Belt, affecting Texas, Florida and Arizona in particular.
Banned from New York
In the last few days the sum of the positives in these three territories has been equal to half the national total. Let’s take the new cases registered on June 27th. Texas: 6,000; Florida: 9,500; Arizona: 3,700. In other words, the southern strip extending from East to West has become the most active hotbed, occupying the place that New York had in April. The health crisis is causing things never seen in America. A few months ago the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, had suspended the entry of New Yorker fellow citizens into his state. Now the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, to ban travelers from eight states, including Florida.
The pendulum of the measures constitutes the best proof of how much has been lacking and continues to lack a minimum of coordination within the United States.
Alex Azar, the Trump administration’s health minister, yesterday went around the TV channels to warn: We have little time to bring the situation under control, the window is closing. A completely different message from the one sent by the president, in rallies, via Twitter or in interviews. Trump does not move: the increase in cases linked to the increase in tests. Azar, repeatedly considered to be coming out, has acrobatically tried to reconcile the White House line with the alarming evidence of the numbers. He asked the Americans to respect social distances, wear a mask and practice hygiene precautions.
In Washington, Republicans look at election polls, currently in disastrous fall. Someone, like Senator Lamar Alexander went straight to the point: It would be very helpful if the president wore a mask. We could get rid of this political debate whereby those who bring it against Trump and those who do not support it.
The ideological ballast, introduced by the White House, is proving deadly. Greg Abbott, governor of Texas, first Trumpian and then Republican. He had imposed the lockdown on April 1 last year and removed it 30 days later anxious to please Trump’s Texan base, which also his. Abbott scoffed at the mask and didn’t even take into account the warnings from virologist Anthony Fauci: wait a few weeks to reopen. The free all shot on May 31, the day of Memorial Day which marks the beginning of summer. Crowded beaches, people crowded into clubs and restaurants. Festive and carefree atmosphere. In Texas, as in Florida and partly in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. The bill comes now.
Tests and hospitals
The data show that the Trumpian equation, more tests more cases, does not hold. In Texas, for example, the increase in the number of infected people more than proportional to the increase in tampons. In numbers: 5% of the tests were positive throughout the month of May. From 14 June to today the percentage has risen, reaching 13% on 26 June. The euphoria, as often happens, immediately turned into anxiety. Yesterday, the images arriving from Dallas showed long lines of cars queuing to reach the drive-in test stations. In Houston, the hardest hit city, the ICU beds are almost full. In Miami, Florida, the daily average of inpatients is now around 900 patients, compared to 750 in mid-April.
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