By Lauren Victoria Burke, NNPA Newswire Contributor
On March 31, President Trump appeared in the White Home Briefing room flanked by Vice President Pence, Dr. Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx, the Coronavirus Response Coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
By April 1st over 211,000 COVID-19 cases have been diagnosed in the U.S. with 4,700 deaths.
Onlookers were stunned at what they heard next. Using modeling that displays their 30-day recommendations to avoid gatherings and travel Dr. Birx displayed a chart that revealed the possibility of up to 2.2 million COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. in a worst-case scenario.
Dr. Birx added that she is, “very worried about every city in the United States” and projected 100,000 to 200,000 American deaths in a “best” case scenario. The next day on April 1st, the most deaths in one day announced so far, 835, was announced by the U.S. government.
The day before during a television interview, she said “I think everyone understands now that you can go from five to 50 to 500 to 5,000 cases very quickly. I think in some of the metro areas we were late in getting people to follow the 15-day guidelines.”
The news was sobering, and the data echoed what was relayed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo during the second week of March. At that time there was much skepticism about Gov. Cuomo’s predictions until news from overseas from Italy appeared to demonstrate how quickly coronavirus could spread and become lethal.
After weeks of public denial that were followed by the failure of President Trump to read and prioritize an intelligence report placed on his desk in January, the COVID-19 infection numbers slowly grew until a national emergency was declared on March 13.
Even after the stunning statistics relayed on national television by medical professionals, some in government continue to declare a premature need to get back to business as usual.
“Let’s stop looking at the death counters and let’s talk about how we can keep as many people employed as possible,” Rep. Devin Nunes told Fox anchor Laura Ingraham on March 31. “That’s the key right now, Laura, because if you don’t, what you said earlier is correct. When you have people staying at home, not taking care of themselves, you will end up with a hell of a lot more people dying by other causes than you will by the coronavirus,” he added.
The reality of mounting fatalities is likely to will change the minds of the few who are not convinced that COVID-19 is a serious threat to the U.S.
Lauren Victoria Burke is an independent journalist for NNPA and the host of the podcast BURKEFILE. She is also a political strategist as Principal of Win Digital Media LLC. She may be contacted at [email protected] and on twitter at @LVBurke