The United States now leads all other nations of the world in the number of residents infected with the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic infections.
At a time when the President of the United States, who previously called the virus a “hoax” and now wants to start scaling back efforts to control its spread, America now runs rampant with the disease that is threatening the world.
Overnight, infections in America topped 85,000 while Italy, the previous leader, reports 81,340 and China, where the virus first surfaced, now is third with 80,509.
Italy still leads in deaths, with 8,215 at 1 a.m. EDT, compared to 3,292 in China and 1,300 in America. Infectious disease experts, however, feel the U.S. death toll will expand in the next week and could take the lead in a matter of days.
With 330 million residents, the United States is the world’s third most populous nation, meaning it provides a vast pool of people who can potentially get Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus.
And it is a sprawling, cacophonous democracy, where states set their own policies and President Trump has sent mixed messages about the scale of the danger and how to fight it, ensuring there was no coherent, unified response to a grave public health threat.
A series of missteps and lost opportunities dogged the nation’s response.
Among them: a failure to take the pandemic seriously even as it engulfed China, a deeply flawed effort to provide broad testing for the virus that left the country blind to the extent of the crisis, and a dire shortage of masks and protective gear to protect doctors and nurses on the front lines, as well as ventilators to keep the critically ill alive.
In New York City, hospitalizations of infected jumped 40 percent on Thursday alone.
In Virginia, confirmed cases are 614 with 14 dead and a growing number of the 83 hospitalized considered critical in quarantined sections.