The number of COVID-19 deaths in the US crossed 250,000, while the number of people hospitalized with the Coronavirus rose to at least 78,630 on Wednesday, November 18. But as per a recently leaked White House report, the situation is going to be worse.
An internal White House task force report warned of "aggressive, unrelenting, a broad community spread across the country, without evidence of improvement but, rather, further deterioration". The report also added that "current mitigation efforts are inadequate and must be increased."
As the winter approaches, many experts and healthcare workers expressed their concerns about the Coronavirus situation in the country. The task force report emerged as evidence of what has been described as a dark, dangerous, and deadly winter in the US. In addition, the report obtained by NBC also noted that the Thanksgiving holiday has the potential to "amplify transmission considerably."
Hospitals across the country are struggling to deal with an increased amount of Coronavirus cases. Dr. Jeff Pothof, University of Wisconsin Hospital emergency room doctor said that there are record-breaking COVID-19 hospitalization numbers daily and "we're all tired. Everyone is tired." He seeks help as things are not "going well."
The Battle Against COVID-19
As the daily COVID-19 cases are rising in the US, states across the country are implementing social restrictions in an attempt to combat the rising numbers and reduce pressure on hospitals. As of Thursday, November 19 US reported over 11 million Coronavirus cases.
An anonymous White House official told the Associated Press that the Coronavirus taskforce had concluded existing efforts to minimize the spread of the disease are "inadequate and must be increased to flatten the curve".
Anthony Fauci, the top American immunologist and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, as well as a key member of the task force, said that Donald Trump has not attended a task force meeting for five months. He also regretted not pushing harder for mass testing earlier in the pandemic. "It never became a reality because we never really had enough tests to do the tests that you had to do," he said at the Stat Summit healthcare conference.
While talking about the community spread, Fauci said that it doesn't stop spontaneously unless "you do something about it," and it is easier to stop when the levels are low. "The only way that you can get at community spread is that you need to test people who are without symptoms, in order to show what the degree of penetration of infection is," he added.
Even though Fauci praised the federal Operation Warp Speed vaccine development program, he noted that a vaccine should not be considered "as a total substitute" at this time for public health measures. Over the months there are many experts and researchers who have been trying to explain that vaccine is important but it is not the magic bullet.
Map of COVID-19 cases in the US
In Ohio, Governor Mike DeWine has announced a three-week curfew, from 10 pm to 5 am. In Texas, which became the first US state to hit 1 million COVID-19 cases followed by California, El Paso's convention center has been turned into a hospital as the city recorded more Coronavirus cases than the larger metropolitan centers of Dallas and Houston combined.
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has warned that the state is set to add 1,000 more COVID-19 deaths before Christmas. In West Virginia, Governor Jim Justice said, "I want us to get more control, more control over this terrible virus that is just eating us alive. I want us to absolutely wear a mask."