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To the editor:
As of Friday, July 17, Johns Hopkins University reported that “there have been 3,576,593 U.S. cases of COVID-19,” [more than any other country in the world including India with a population of at least 1 billion] and 138,362 deaths.
With testing and contract tracing as a means of controlling the virus, the Trump administration is claiming that “anybody right now and yesterday, anybody that needs a test gets a test. They’re here. They have the tests and the tests are beautiful.”
But in Sun Belt states like Arizona “where the virus is surging, lines of cars with people seeking tests snake for hours in the beating sun, often yielding results so far after the fact that they are useless.” Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and public health professor at GeorgeTown University says, “It is essentially worthless to have a test result that comes back after 48 hours.” Unless scheduled for nonessential surgery, people wait an average of 5-7 days for results Blair Halladaym the CEO of American Society for Clinical Pathology says, “It’s the Wild, Wild West.
There’s been no national testing strategy. . .so states are duking it out for supply chains.” Lawrence Gostin, a public health expert at Georgetown University called the administration’s claim about effective testing ‘laughable.’” Gostin said, “We don’t have the testing kits. We don’t have the labs to process it.” A world wide pandemic that arrived in this country by January of 2020 and continues to surge stifling an economic come back and threatening school reopenings in the fall, called for a national strategy to combat the virus that involves more than grandiose statements [it will miraculously go away] and conspiracy theories [a media hoax].
Florida, the new epicenter of the crisis, has been reporting an average of 10,000 new cases daily. Sunday,July 12, Florida set a new record with 15,300 cases. How has the administration responded to increasing numbers of the infection that includes not just the sun belt but states like Iowa?
On Wednesday, July 15th, Trump posted an Instagram image with his trademarked thumps-up sign of approval, seated behind the historic Resolute Desk with an array of Goya products in front of him. The former reality TV star wasn’t done with what he obviously considers more important that the coronavirus numbers.
Friday July 17 he held a demonstration at the White House with a weight laden blue pickup, [symbolizing democratic regulatory policy] and a weight less red pickup [symbolizing his policy of de-regulation]. By Saturday, July 18, U.S. COVID-19 numbers increased to 3,677,453 with 140,888 dead Americans. You do the math.
Mary Kathryn Gepner