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COVID-19 cases top 100,000 worldwide as Trump continues to reject science, downplay problem

By Steff Yorek

Minneapolis, MN – Worldwide, cases of COVID-19 have broken the 100,000 mark. There are more than 400 cases in the United States, a number that is rising every day. That number is likely much higher, but test kits remain in short supply.

The anti-science Trump administration and the for-profit corporate healthcare systems are ill equipped to deal with the unfolding crisis.

On March 2, Vice President Pence promised there would be a million test kits available by the end of the week. That proved to be false. Only 160,000 test kits were available and most of them went unused. It’s impossible to know the extent of the viral spread. For example, there are 71 confirmed cases in the Seattle area and 15 deaths. Either the corona virus in the U.S. has a 21% death rate or there are in the range of 1000 actual cases in the area. The second is the more likely from the perspective of science.

Rather than take any responsibility, Trump chose to blame Obama for a lack of test kits.

Given that Trump places how he looks far above the health and safety of the American people, it’s not surprising that there is a delay in testing. After all, less than two weeks ago he cooked the numbers to claim that there were only really 15 cases and that those were going down to zero really soon.

Donald Trump went on Fox last week to put out nonsense theories minimizing the coronavirus' threat to Americans. He went to great lengths to contradict the World Health Organization, which put the global mortality rate for the coronavirus at 3.4%.

Trump said, “Well, I think the 3.4% is really a false number. Now, and this is just my hunch, and – but based on a lot of conversations with a lot of people that do this. Because a lot people will have this and it's very mild. They'll get better very rapidly. They don't even see a doctor. They don't even call a doctor,” Trump said.

“You never hear about those people. So you can't put them down in the category of the overall population in terms of this corona flu and – or virus. So you just can't do that,” Trump continued. “So if, you know, we have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that get better, just by, you know, sitting around and even going to work – some of them go to work but they get better.”

Michael J. Ryan Executive Director of Emergency Services, World Health organization responded to the mortality rate issue, stating, “Obviously there is a lot of speculation on mortality rates, and the modeling is an attempt to understand why so few people under 40 have been clinically unwell. Most of the people who are really sick are between the ages of 40 and 90. When we look to calculate a case fatality, it’s possible we could add a bunch of young people who are not getting very sick and then the case fatality rate will drop.

That may not necessarily reflect the experience of older people; the actual case fatality goes up with age and other conditions. We need to look to people who are older, who have underlying conditions, are undernourished or have long term infectious conditions, in order to put in the necessary services to save their lives. Everything we do should be focused on protecting the most vulnerable.

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