COVID-19 was back in the spotlight on this week’s Sunday morning news show circuit. Several experts weighed in on the ongoing pandemic, which has prompted leaders in multiple states to enforce quarantines and restrictions on travel. If the comments made by these individuals are any indication, Americans may have to live under these measures for weeks to come.
Former Homeland Security Adviser Says COVID-19 Problem Could Grow
Tom Bossert, the former homeland security adviser to President Donald Trump, appeared on ABC’s This Week and indicated that at least three states “have a problem that is going to grow.” He also suggested that the outbreak could “overwhelm” health care systems.
The former adviser noted that most states are dealing with the pandemic, but are better equipped to address the problem. “I would say there’s a dichotomy … between the 47 states that seem to have a problem, but one that they can continue to control,” he explained. “And the three states, led by New York, unfortunately, that seem to have a problem that is going to continue to grow now in a way — and I say this and hope I’m wrong — that is going to overwhelm the New York health system in the coming days.”
Bossert insisted that the United States needs more effective means for testing to keep the country from living under quarantine. “It seems to have worked if people stick to this plan,” he said. “I’m upset for those who don’t stick to it because we’re all paying a very heavy cost here, economically, and if you don’t follow these rules, then you’re slapping us all in the face.”
De Blasio Paints Gloomy Coronavirus Picture
New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio took the opportunity to politicize further the Coronavirus in a conversation with NBC Host Chuck Todd on Meet the Press. He used the outbreak to attack President Trump’s handling of the matter, insisting that the president’s team isn’t doing enough to solve the problem.
“The truth is, and New Yorkers and all Americans deserve the blunt truth, it is only getting worse,” he said. “And in fact, April and May are going to be a lot worse.”
De Blasio blamed Trump for the possibility that the situation in New York City will worsen, citing the president’s refusal to invoke the Defense Production Act to provide the medical tools that hospitals need. “The president of the United States is from New York City, and he will not lift a finger to help his hometown,” he said.
The mayor claimed that he had made repeated requests to the president to ensure that the military is “used to the fullest” to provide critical equipment. “If the president does not act, people will die who could have lived otherwise,” he said.
He further expanded on his case for military involvement, arguing that the ventilators being produced must be sent to New York City in the next ten days. “And the only force in America that could do that is the military,” the mayor said. “Why are they at their bases? Why are they not being allowed to serve? I guarantee you they’re ready to serve. But the president has to give the order.”
Dr. Fauci Weighs In
Dr. Anthony Fauci, who heads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, discussed the Coronavirus outbreak on CBS’s Face the Nation. He indicated that the U.S. is “not necessarily” headed for the devastating conditions faced in Italy, which is, to date, the hardest-hit European country:
“Obviously, things are unpredictable. But if you look at the dynamics of the outbreak in Italy, we don’t know why they are suffering so terribly. But there’s a possibility, and many of us believe that early on, they did not shut out as well the input of infections that originated in China and came to different parts of the world.”
Fauci also discussed the president’s promotion of drugs used to treat malaria as a possible cure for COVID-19. During a recent press conference, Trump and Fauci seemed to contradict each other on the efficacy of the drug. The president stated that the medication could be a “game-changer,” while Fauci insisted that more testing would be needed.
“I, on the other side, have said I’m not disagreeing with the fact anecdotally they might work, but my job is to prove definitively from a scientific standpoint that they do work,” he said. “So I was taking a purely medical-scientific standpoint, and the president was trying to bring hope to the people.”
It seems evident that the Coronavirus outbreak will continue to dominate news coverage in the weeks ahead. As a significant number of Americans are living under quarantine, there will likely be much to report.
Read more from Jeff Charles.
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