Thanatos Thursday ReadsPosted: March 26, 2020
The new global reality is truly horrifying. It feels as if we are living in an apocalyptic novel but we’re not–it’s actually happening. We knew in 2016 that if Trump were elected we would likely face a disaster at some point and he would make it so much worse. We knew he was totally unfit to handle even the basic duties of chief executive, much less a real national security emergency. Hillary warned us repeatedly, but the media ignored her warnings and focused on a ridiculous email “scandal” instead of analyzing the dangers of electing Trump.
And now here we are in the midst of global pandemic with a federal government emptied of experts and filled with incompetents loyal to Trump–because blind loyalty is the only qualification he recognizes.
The U.S. death toll from Covid-19 has now passed 1,000. NBC News: Coronavirus deaths hit 1,000 in U.S. as global death toll passes 20,000.
The United States has reached a grim milestone as the number of deaths linked to coronavirus passed 1,000 in the country on Thursday, according to a count by NBC News.
The number of reported deaths associated with the disease in the U.S. was at least 1,001 as of Thursday morning, according to that count, and there have been more than 68,000 reported cases. Globally, reported deaths passed 21,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The university puts the U.S. death toll even higher than the NBC News count, listing 1,050 as of around 2:30 a.m. ET.
Deaths continued to rise in New York, which has been called the epicenter of the epidemic on the U.S. There have been at least 334 deaths linked to the illness caused by the novel coronavirus as of early Thursday….
As of Wednesday evening, there had been more than 32,700 cases in the state, and more than 20,000 of those have been reported in New York City, according to the city’s health department. There have been 132 deaths in Washington state, health authorities say.
The New York Times: 13 Deaths in a Day: An ‘Apocalyptic’ Coronavirus Surge at an N.Y.C. Hospital.
In several hours on Tuesday, Dr. Ashley Bray performed chest compressions at Elmhurst Hospital Center on a woman in her 80s, a man in his 60s and a 38-year-old who reminded the doctor of her fiancé. All had tested positive for the coronavirus and had gone into cardiac arrest. All eventually died.
Elmhurst, a 545-bed public hospital in Queens, has begun transferring patients not suffering from coronavirus to other hospitals as it moves toward becoming dedicated entirely to the outbreak. Doctors and nurses have struggled to make do with a few dozen ventilators. Calls over a loudspeaker of “Team 700,” the code for when a patient is on the verge of death, come several times a shift. Some have died inside the emergency room while waiting for a bed.
“It’s apocalyptic,” said Dr. Bray, 27, a general medicine resident at the hospital.
Across the city, which has become the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, hospitals are beginning to confront the kind of harrowing surge in cases that has overwhelmed health care systems in China, Italy and other countries. On Wednesday evening, New York City reported 20,011 confirmed cases and 280 deaths.
New Orleans is on track to become the next coronavirus epicenter in the United States, dimming hopes that less densely populated and warmer-climate cities would escape the worst of the pandemic, and that summer months could see it wane.
The plight of New Orleans – with the world’s highest growth rate in coronavirus cases – also raises fears that the city may become a powerful catalyst in spreading the virus across the south of the country. Authorities have warned the number of cases in New Orleans could overwhelm its hospitals by April 4.
New Orleans is the biggest city in Louisiana, the state with the third-highest case load of coronavirus in the United States on a per capita basis after the major epicenters of New York and Washington.
The growth rate in Louisiana tops all others, according to a University of Louisiana at Lafayette analysis of global data, with the number of cases rising by 30% in the 24 hours before noon on Wednesday. On Tuesday, U.S. President Donald Trump issued a major federal disaster declaration for the state, freeing federal funds and resources.
Some 70% of Louisiana’s 1,795 confirmed cases to date are in the New Orleans metro area.
Los Angeles residents will be confined to their homes until May at the earliest, Mayor Eric Garcetti told Insider on Wednesday.
“I think this is at least two months,” he said. “And be prepared for longer.”
In an interview with Insider, Garcetti pushed back against “premature optimism” in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying leaders who suggest we are on the verge of business as usual are putting lives at risk.
“I can’t say that strongly enough,” the mayor said. Optimism, he said, has to be grounded in data. And right now the data is not good.
“Giving people false hope will crush their spirits and will kill more people,” Garcetti said, adding it would change their actions by instilling a sense of normality at the most abnormal time in a generation.
“This will not kill most of us,” he said. “It will kill a lot more people than we’re used to dying around us.”
On Tuesday, Garcetti said the city was anywhere from six to 12 days away from the fate of New York City, where a surge in patients with the novel coronavirus is threatening to overwhelm the health system.
But we really can’t be sure how many people are actually dying from the virus. Buzzfeed News: Doctors And Nurses Say More People Are Dying Of COVID-19 In The US Than We Know.
Medical professionals around the US told BuzzFeed News that the official numbers of people who have died of COVID-19 are not consistent with the number of deaths they’re seeing on the front lines.
In some cases, it’s a lag in reporting, caused by delays and possible breakdowns in logging positive tests and making them public. In other, more troubling, cases, medical experts told BuzzFeed News they think it’s because people are not being tested before or after they die.
In the US, state and county authorities are responsible for collecting data on cases of COVID-19 and deaths. The data is then reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In California, one ER doctor who works at multiple hospitals in a hard-hit county told BuzzFeed News, “those medical records aren’t being audited by anyone at the state and local level currently and some people aren’t even testing those people who are dead.”
“We just don’t know. The numbers are grossly under-reported. I know for a fact that we’ve had three deaths in one county where only one is listed on the website,” the doctor said.
At his daily coronavirus hate rallies, Trump has been advocating for everyone to go back to work despite the horrific sickness and death that would cause.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, who continues to be a thorn in Trump’s side, had something to say about that. The Washington Post: Fauci’s coronavirus reality check: ‘You don’t make the timeline. The virus makes the timeline.’
Trump still refuses to help struggling health care workers by using his executive powers through the DPA to order industries to produce masks, protective clothing, and ventilators; and he appears to be withholding federal support for blue states, demanding that governors genuflect to him first.
The New York Times: Amid Desperate Need for Ventilators, Calls Grow for Federal Intervention.
As hospitals prepare for a flood of desperately ill patients unable to breathe on their own, mechanical ventilators have become the single most important piece of equipment that can mean the difference between life and death.
Now, with American hospitals facing a grave shortage of the vital devices, the Big Three automakers, small engineering firms, software designers and medical equipment manufacturers are rushing to figure out ways to produce more of them. But President Trump has so far declined to use powers that public health experts say could make a real difference in getting more ventilators to places that need them the most — right now.
What is really needed, a number of public health experts and former government officials say, is for Washington to take control of the nation’s existing ventilator supply. Because peak coronavirus infections will hit cities and regions at different times in the coming months, a centralized federal effort could send unused machines to hospitals that need them most.
“This is a national crisis,” said Frank Kendall, who served as under secretary of defense for acquisition and logistics in the Obama administration. “In a time of scarcity, you can’t leave it up to companies and governors to manage it themselves.”
Mr. Kendall said that only the federal government had the authority to take over the allocation of ventilators, both from manufacturers who are in the business of selling devices to the highest bidder, and state leaders unlikely to voluntarily let go of machines they fear they might need in the future.
More reads, links only:
Ron Klain at The Washington Post: We must plan now for how to get back to business later.
Heather Long at The Washington Post: The $2 trillion relief bill is massive, but it won’t prevent a recession.
Dana Millbank at The Washington Post: The nation comes together — without Trump.
Jennifer Rubin at The Washington Post: When the president is the problem.
Molly Jong-Fast at The Daily Beast: Don’t Worry, America, Jared Kushner Is Going to Save You From COVID-19.