Washington: America continues to wage an all-out war to defeat the “horrible” coronavirus, President Donald Trump has said, as the US reported over 5,000 deaths and more than 200,000 infections, the highest in the world, due to the fast-spreading COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, the number of Americans to have been infected by coronavirus stood at 214,000, and 5,093 had lost their lives from the deadly disease by Wednesday night.
Globally, more than 930,000 people have been infected and 46,809 people have died due to coronavirus that originated from China in November-December.
“America continues to wage all-out war to defeat the virus this horrible, horrible virus. You see how terrible it is, especially when you look at the numbers from yesterday,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Wednesday.
The number of infections keeps on rising with every passing day in the US, giving rise to a scary scenario, which Americans have not witnessed in decades.
Members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force have predicted between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths, even with the mitigation measures including lockdown like situation across the country.
Even as there is no national lockdown like India in the US, nearly 270 million of the 330 million population are forced into stay-in-home situation ranging from 30 days to 70 days. All schools, colleges and universities have been shut down, and America’s booming tourism and travel industry has come to a standstill.
“We are attacking the virus on every front was social distancing, economic support for our workers, rapid medical intervention and very serious innovation and banning dangerous foreign travel that threatens the health of our people and we did that early, far earlier than anyone would’ve thought and way ahead of anybody else,” Trump said in his daily televised press conference from the White House on Wednesday.
Early this week, Trump extended the mitigation measures, including social distancing, till April 30.
The Trump administration has roped in car manufacturers, plane builders and other companies to make thousands of ventilators, required in the treatment of patients. In all, 11 companies are making ventilators on a war footing.
“We will fairly soon be at a point where we have far more than we can use even after we stockpile for some future catastrophe which we hope doesn’t happen. We are going to be distributing them, the extras around the world we will go to Italy, we will go to France, we will go to Spain which is you know very hard hit,” Trump said.
While medical supplies and equipment are being sent to major cities including New York every day, more than 17,000 national guard personnel have now been activated across the country.
“Difficult days are ahead for our nation. We’re going to have a couple of weeks starting pretty much now, but especially a few days from now they’re going to be horrific,” Trump told the nation.
“But even in the most challenging of times, Americans do not despair, we do not give in to fear. We pull together, we persevere, and we overcome, and we win,” he said.
“In confronting this deadly plague, America is armed with capabilities never dreamed of in past centuries,” he added.
Coronavirus is so contagious that nobody has ever seen anything like this where large groups of people all of the sudden just by being in the presence of somebody have it, Trump said.
“The flu has never been like that and the is flu is contagious but nothing like we have ever seen here. Also, if it hits the right person and you know what those stats are if it hits the right person that person is in deep trouble and my friend was the right person,” he said.
Responding to a question, Trump ruled out issuing a nationwide stay-at-home order. He, however, welcomed the move by different States, with Florida being the latest one to join the list.
Anthony Fauci, member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said that ultimate solution to COVID-19 would be a vaccine.
“The ultimate game changer in this will be a vaccine, the same way a vaccine for other diseases that were scourges in the past that now we don’t even worry about,” he said.
It is still in Phase 1 of the trail, he said, adding that it will take a year and half to develop that.
Vice President Mike Pence urged Americans to strictly adhere to the social mitigation measures till April 30.
“Our priority right now is ensuring that every American takes 30 days to slow the spread too. The best thing we can do for one another, for our family’s health, for the most vulnerable among us is practice those mitigation strategies that the president outlined yesterday for the next 30 days,” he said.
“We are dealing with testing to make sure that every American can have a test. We’re dealing with supplies and we’re making great progress in building personal protective equipment and ensuring that ventilators are available particularly for the communities most impacted,” he said.
Testing of coronavirus has been ramped up, he said.
“Today we are now doing more than 100,000 test a day, more than 1.2 million test have been performed, states have established drive-through sites all across the country,” he said.