On Thursday afternoon, the United States’ official number of coronavirus cases within its borders surpassed that of China’s totals.
At 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, there were 82,404 documented cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., while China had 81,782 cases.
In passing China’s totals, the U.S. is now ranked first in terms of raw numbers of individuals who have contracted the disease, the New York Times reported. There were a number of reasons on how this situation came about:
- there was a failure on the part of government leaders, particularly the Trump administration, to recognize from the get-go that coronavirus was a serious issue, not just one that China would have to deal with;
- there was an inability, also from the start of the outbreak in the U.S., to test as many individuals as possible, to detect where the disease was (even among asymptomatic individuals) to prevent its spread; and
- there was a significant shortage of medical supplies, including masks and other protective gear in general, for health professionals, as well as ventilators for patients.
During a press conference on Thursday about the spread of the disease in the U.S., President Donald Trump still seemed to be minimizing, in ways, the gravity of the situation. “I just spoke to two people who had it. They never went to a doctor,” Trump said to reporters.
Another example of Trump minimizing the Coronavirus: “I just spoke to two people who had it. They never went to a doctor.”
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) March 26, 2020
That kind of thinking seems to imply that the president doesn’t feel the disease is that much of a threat — even as more than 1,100 Americans have died from coronavirus so far. It matches an unfortunate pattern of him doing so for several weeks now.
During most of the month of February, Trump spent most of his time deriding others who had serious concerns about the spread of the disease in the United States, calling their worries over COVID-19 a “hoax” meant to make him look bad politically.
Trump also minimized the possibility of an outbreak, prematurely saying his administration had managed the spread of coronavirus. On February 26, for example, when he claimed there were only 15 cases in the U.S. (there were dozens more), Trump suggested, within a matter of days, that number would be “going to be down to close to zero.”