A Somber Day
Tuesday’s Coronavirus Task Force press briefing brought a very somber tone from the president and vice president. April is going to be, as the president said, a very painful month.
There will be days when the death toll could be 2,500 or more. Public health officials now estimate that when this is over, the final figures will be somewhere between 100,000 and 240,000 deaths.
Yesterday’s figures from John Hopkins University are 883,225 confirmed cases, 44,156 deaths, and 185,377 recovered. And that’s the point. Not only will the majority of people who get the virus recover, but America will recover. That’s what President Trump, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and Dr. Deborah Birx continually emphasized Tuesday night.
Just a reminder: It was not that long ago when multiple “experts” were predicting that two million Americans would die. They appear to have been wrong.
As grim as the latest estimates are, it is due to the heroic efforts of our public health community and the Trump/Pence administration that these lower yet still shocking numbers are within reach.
By the way, it was early in the last century (1918) when the Spanish flu hit. We were fighting the First World War, and at the same time the Spanish flu killed 50 million people worldwide and 675,000 in the United States. That flu was particularly deadly, even among the young and the healthy.
This monstrous coronavirus is having its greatest impact on people over 70 with one or more preexisting health conditions. We mourn every loss. But just imagine the shock we would be going through if our children were dying in record numbers from this virus.
We recovered from the Spanish flu in the middle of a world war, and we will recover from this too. It is likely that in a few months, this will all be in the rearview mirror and we will be roaring back to recovery.
As you may recall, President Trump delivered his State of the Union Address on February 4. It was largely overlooked at the time, but in his remarks the president referred to the coronavirus. Here’s what he said:
Protecting Americans’ health also means fighting infectious diseases. We are coordinating with the Chinese government and working closely together on the coronavirus outbreak in China. My administration will take all necessary steps to safeguard our citizens from this threat.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she wants a Watergate-style investigation to find out what the president knew and when he knew it. But I’m not sure Pelosi even heard the president’s warning in early February because she was too busy pre-tearing pages of his speech so she could rip up the whole thing when he was finished.
Now she has the audacity to hold press conferences asking what Trump knew and when he knew it!