US Approaches Global Record of 5 Million COVID-19 Cases; her management causes alarm in Europe.

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 US Approaches Global Record of 5 Million COVID-19 Cases; her management causes alarm in Europe.




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Much of the disbelief in Europe stems from the fact that the United States had time in its favor, European experience and medical knowledge on how to treat the virus, advantages that the continent did not have when the first COVID-19 patients began to fill intensive care units.






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By Nicole Winfield and Lisa Marie Pane

ROME (AP) .— El failure of U.S when it comes to containing contagions of coronavirus in the country has caused confusion and alarm in Europe, as the most powerful country in the world approaches a global record of five million infections confirmed.

Perhaps nowhere outside the United States is failed US management viewed with more consternation than in Italy, which was ground zero for the European epidemic. Italians were unprepared when the outbreak broke out in February, and the country continues to have one of the worst official death toll, with 35,000 deaths.

But after a strict 10-week quarantine, careful tracking of new outbreaks and widespread acceptance of the use of masks and social distancing, Italy has become a model for containing the virus.

“Aren’t you worried about your health?” She asked about the Americans Patrizia Anotnini, wearing a mask to walk with friends by Lake Bracciano, north of Rome. “They have to take our precautions (…) They need a real quarantine.”

Much of the disbelief in Europe stems from the fact that the United States had time in its favor, European experience and medical knowledge on how to treat the virus, advantages that the continent did not have when the first COVID-19 patients began to fill intensive care units.






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In this April 18, 2020 photo, Cordarial Funeral Director O. Holloway, front left, Funeral Director Robert L. Albritten, front right, and funeral attendees Eddie Keith, at bottom left, and Ronald Costello place a coffin in a hearse in Dawson, Georgia. Photo: Brynn Anderson, AP. Archive

However, after more than four months of sustained epidemic, the United States is close to reaching five million confirmed infections, by far the highest number in the world. Health authorities believe the true figure will be closer to 50 million, given the limitations in performing diagnostic tests and the fact that up to 40 percent of cases are asymptomatic.






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“Italians always saw the United States as a model,” said Massimo Franco, a columnist for the newspaper. Corriere della Sera. “But with this virus we have discovered a very fragile country, with poor infrastructure and a non-existent public health system.”

The Italian Minister of Health, Roberto Speranza, has not avoided criticizing the United States, officially declaring Washington’s decision to withhold funding to the World Health Organization as “wrong” and expressing his surprise at the administration of President Donald Trump .

The United States leads the death list with 160,000 people, cases continue to rise and resistance to masks has become a political issue. Given this situation, European countries have prohibited the entry of US tourists and visitors from other countries with increasing cases.

France and Germany have imposed mandatory diagnostic tests for travelers arriving from “risk” countries, such as the United States.

“I am well aware that this infringes on individual freedom, but I think it is a justifiable intervention,” German Health Minister Jens Spahn said when announcing the measure last week.






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In this July 14, 2020 photo, people wait in line to get tested for coronavirus at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Photo: Mark J. Terrill, AP. Archive

Mistakes were also made in Europe, from delaying quarantines to insufficient protection for nursing homes to a crucial shortage of diagnostic test equipment and protective equipment for medical personnel.






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The virus continues to spread in some Balkan countries, and this month thousands of protesters without masks called in Berlin for the restrictions associated with the virus to be lifted.

The affected Spain, France and Germany suffer outbreaks with a thousand new cases a day, and the new infections in Italy passed 500 on Friday. Britain continues to record some 3,700 new infections a day, and some scientists say the country’s prized pubs may have to close again to reopen schools in September without causing a new surge.

In the United States, new cases are around 54,000 a day, a vastly higher figure even taking into account its population. And although it has dropped from 70,000 a day last month, cases continue to rise in almost 20 states, and deaths are increasing in most.

Instead, at least for now, Europe seems to have the virus more or less under control.

“If medical professionals in America had been left to work, they would have reached a point of controlling this in March,” said Scott Lucas, professor of international studies at the University of Birmingham, England. “But, of course, medical and public health professionals were not allowed to act unimpeded,” he said, referring to Trump’s frequent interventions against his own experts.






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In this July 6, 2020 photo, Dr. Joseph Varon, right, leads a team that tried unsuccessfully to save the life of a patient in the Coronavirus Unit at United Memorial Medical Center in Houston. Photo: David J. Phillip, AP. Archive

When the virus reached the United States, Trump and his supporters quickly branded it a “hoax” or claimed it would disappear with the summer weather. At one point, Trump suggested that UV light or injecting disinfectants would kill the virus. He later said he was joking.






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Trump’s frequent complaints about Dr. Anthony Fauci have made headlines in Europe, where the American infectious disease expert is a respected eminence. The Italian hospital leading the fight against COVID-19 offered Fauci a job in case Trump fired him.

Trump has defended his country’s management and blamed China, where the virus was first detected, for the problems in the United States, stating that its numbers of affected are very high because many tests are done. Trump supporters and Americans who refuse to wear masks against all medical recommendations support that argument.

“There is no reason to be afraid of any disease out there,” said Julia Ferjo, a mother of three in Alpine, Texas, who said she was “vehemently” opposed to wearing a mask. Ferjo, 35, is an instructor at a large gym where attendees are not allowed to wear masks.

“Breathing so hard, I would pass out,” he said. “I don’t want people to drop like flies.”

Dr. David Ho, director of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, who leads a team seeking treatment for COVID-19, condemned such behaviors, as well as the management of the virus. in the country.






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In this May 28, 2020 photo, a woman walks past a fence at Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery, adorned with tributes to the victims of COVID-19 in New York. Photo: Mark Lennihan, AP. Archive

“There is no national strategy, there is no national leadership and the public is not urged to act in unison and carry out the measures together,” he said. “That is what it takes, and we have completely abandoned it as a nation.”



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When making video calls with colleagues around the world, he noted, “Nobody can believe what they see in the United States, nor can you believe the things that leaders say.”

Even the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has taken the unusual step of criticizing the United States by urging Washington to reconsider its decision to sever ties with the WHO. She also made a veiled criticism of US efforts to reserve consignments of any vaccine that may prove effective, promising that the EU would work to gain access to everyone “regardless of where they live.”

Many Europeans proudly point to their national security systems, which not only test but treat virus patients for free, unlike the US system, where the crisis has exacerbated racial and income inequalities in accessing healthcare. .

“The coronavirus has brutally exposed the vulnerability of a country that had been in decline for years,” wrote Italian author Massimo Gaggi in his new book. Crack America (“Broken America”) on American problems long before the virus.

Gaggi said she started writing her book last year, and thought the title would be construed as a provocative wake-up call. Then the virus arrived.

“By March the title was no longer a provocation,” he said. “It was obvious”.

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