Editor’s Note: In part one, we covered from the first patient with Coronavirus in Wuhan through to the end of January 2020. In part two, we covered the events from February through March, and in this final part three we bring everything up to date.
So far, through March 31, we’ve witnessed the crucial withholding of information by China and Dr. Fauci continuously saying things like Americans don’t have to worry and they don’t need to change any of their activities, even while President Donald Trump banned travel from Europe and declared a level four travel advisory. The Diamond Princess cruise ship had to be quarantined and more than 600 passengers tested positive with COVID-19. Meanwhile, Dr. Fauci encouraged the young and healthy to go on cruises if they wished. WHO continued to say most cases were mild until mid-March, when it finally declared a pandemic. Main venues such as professional sports and Carnegie Hall canceled events, and on March 26, the U.S. had more recorded cases than any other country. In an interview, Dr. Fauci said the fatality rate was more like seasonal influenza at around 0.1%, and Trump signed the $2 trillion stimulus bill.
April saw the continued rise in unemployment claims in the U.S. with 6.6 million workers filing for their first week of benefits. The number of Coronavirus cases continued to grow, and Trump recommended wearing face masks, but qualified the suggestion with “It’s really going to be a voluntary thing. I’m choosing not to do it.”
The United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson was hospitalized with the virus, and Secretary Pompeo said the State Department had brough home 30,000 Americans who had been stranded overseas due to Coronavirus-related travel restrictions.
The National Academy of Sciences sent a letter to the White House stating, “There is some evidence to suggest that (Coronavirus) may transmit less efficiently in environments with higher ambient temperature and humidity; however, given the lack of host immunity globally, this reduction in transmission efficiency may not lead to a significant reduction in disease spread without the concomitant adoption of major public health interventions.”
Dr. Fauci said Americans might need to carry documents to prove they are immune to the virus. “This is something that’s being discussed,” he said. “I think it might actually have some merit.” On April 14, Trump announced the end of funding to WHO for its “role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of coronavirus.” He added, “Other nations and regions who followed WHO guidelines and kept their borders open to China, accelerated the pandemic around the world.”
Also on April 14, the U.S. had the most reported COVID-19 deaths in a single day: 2,129.
Tax Day arrived but citizens could wait until July to file for 2019, and residents of Michigan, Kentucky, Oklahoma, and North Carolina began to protest the stay-at-home orders. By April 16, The White House issued guidelines for states to reopen; approximately 14% of the U.S. workforce had filed for unemployment in the past month.
Chile issued immunity cards to those who had recovered from COVID-19, and Vice President Mike Pence announced that all 50 states are “ready right now to enter phase one” if they meet the president’s opening up America guidelines.
Trump put a halt to immigration and said in a tweet, “In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!”
Speculation and condemnation had been growing over the accuracy of Coronavirus deaths, many believing the numbers were skewed. The Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike clearly explained during a late April health briefing how COVID deaths are being counted:
“If you were in hospice and had already been given a few weeks to live, and then you also were found to have COVID, that would be counted as a COVID death. It means technically even if you died of a clear alternative cause, but you had COVID at the same time, it’s still listed as a COVID death. So, everyone who’s listed as a COVID death doesn’t mean that was the cause of death, but they had COVID at the time of death.”
On April 23, Acting DHS Undersecretary for Science & Technology William Bryan announced a study that indicated heat, humidity, and UV rays can slow and kill the Coronavirus. President Trump caught flack for his comment: “I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute, one minute. Is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning, because you see it gets in the lungs, and it does a tremendous number on the lungs?”
At the end of April, Tyson Foods chairman warned of “meat shortages” due to a breakdown in the food supply chain, and Fauci said he is “almost certain” the virus will return in the winter, but that he was optimistic for a vaccine.
We started the month of May off with a battle of political correctness with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) referring to the virus as the “European virus.” The drug Remdesivir was authorized by the FDA to treat COVID-19, and back in New York, more than 1,000 police officers were put on the streets to encourage social distancing at a time when the temperature soared into the 90s. New York City mayor Bill de Blasio threatened to build a fence to keep New Yorkers away from beaches.
America wasn’t the only country to lash out at China for the outbreak; Australia called for an inquiry into the origins of the virus and Britain and Germany questioned using the Chinese tech giant Huawei.
May 6, Trump talked about shifting the focus of the pandemic to reviving business and social life, and Dr. Deborah Birx said she doesn’t trust the CDC’s reporting and thinks the death numbers may be inflated by up to 25%. Poland delayed its presidential election. New York City’s subway began closing between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. to allow for crews to disinfect the cars.
By May 8, unemployment hit 14.7% with 20.5 million jobs lost in April. Dr. Fauci, Dr. Robert Redfield, and head of the Food and Drug Administration Stephen Han went into quarantine. WHO official Dr. Mike Ryan said the virus may become “just another endemic virus in our communities, and this virus may never go away.” Fauci warned of dire consequences should the U.S. reopen the economy too soon and changed his tune on hopes for a treatment or vaccine by the fall, calling it “a bridge too far.”
Japan and Germany entered recessions. Japan fell for the first time since 2015, its economy shrank by an annualized rate of 3.4% in the first three months of the year. Germany had the worst contraction since the 2008 global financial crisis, shrinking by 2.2% in the first three months.
Trump revealed that he had been taking hydroxychloroquine for a “couple of weeks,” and on May 21, the CDC said the virus “does not spread easily” off of surfaces, as it was first believed.
Once again putting out contradicting messages, Dr. Fauci said that the U.S. staying closed for too long could cause “irreparable damage.” Then on the next day, May 23, the doctor told Fox40 in a special edition of “Coronavirus House Calls” that “We’re not going to eradicate this virus. It is so transmissible that it’s going to be around for a while.”
The pandemic is taking its toll and the CDC warned that rodents were becoming more aggressive due to restaurant closures, which a lot of rats and other animals depended on to subsidize their meals. Meanwhile, WHO decided to cancel studies on hydroxychloroquine because of the concern that people taking it were at higher risk of death and heart problems, while Japan ended its state of emergency with a total of 851 deaths due to the virus. The country had never gone into a lockdown.
On May 27, Dr. Fauci said in an interview with CNN that a second wave of COVID-19 is “not inevitable” as long as the states open correctly. And on May 29, Trump announced the U.S. pulling out of WHO.
What will the following months bring to America? There are still several states that have not yet managed to get out of phase one of reopening while others have come close to resembling the normalcy known before the pandemic. Will America’s Independence Day be spent in a lockdown with citizens losing their businesses, their homes, their freedom, and liberties? As Liberty Nation’s Tim Donner opined, was the Coronavirus lockdown a grave mistake by Trump?
We’ve seen how Dr. Fauci, the so-called expert, flip-flopped left and right on his advice. He insisted Americans had nothing to worry about, suggested healthy people could go on cruises even though at least one cruise ship had been in quarantine, said we didn’t need to wear masks, then reversed everything. The outbreak went from a “miniscule” risk to being dire. WHO ignored reports from Taiwan that the virus could be transferred person-to-person, criticized Trump’s decision to ban travel from China, and didn’t declare a pandemic until the middle of March.
Is it any wonder the country is torn by indecision, confusion, and fear, or that many consider the entire pandemic a ploy by Democrats to destroy the economy and win the presidential election?
Read more from Kelli Ballard.