Coronavirus: The lost six weeks when US failed to contain outbreak - BBC News

As the world tries to find an end to the lockdowns, it's, important to go back to the beginning. President Trump did take steps to keep the virus out. When I learned about the gravity of it was sometime just prior to closing the country to China, but there were holes in his travel bins and it took six weeks before he ended travel from Europe, the other hot spot.

During this time, the virus spread largely undetected within America's borders. Why wasn't more done to stop it? [ Music ]? Let's start by looking at the big picture. The main strategy for mitigating spread has been to lock down communities.

China did it in Wuhan and then the whole of Hebei Province. Then we saw Italy, they did it in the north and soon the whole of the country. Some have compared response times in relation to. First cases or first deaths, but to factor in population size we actually want to find the date when a country had one death per million residents due to covin 19, and those points were reached at different times in various countries.

We can compare how quickly countries reacted by putting those dates as day 1 on a timeline. Germany, France and the UK locked down within days learning their lessons from Italy which took six days to lock down the entire country.

The US, however, still hasn't, declared a national lockdown more than 45 days later. If you look at what's going on in this country, I just don't understand why we're, not doing that. We really should be so why didn't the u.

s. act sooner in the end, most states did issue stay at home orders covering 92 % of the u.s. population, but, as this chart shows, some states took action much faster than others. We'll. Look at that in more detail in a there are practical reasons for the different approaches it's.

A big country with some places hit much harder by the outbreak than others. Plus power is not as centralized in the US. So a national lockdown is not as easy to do, but the main reason why the u.s. missed an opportunity to get ahead of the virus was a lack of information on how bad the outbreak really was.

On January 20th and 21st. South Korea, in the u.s. confirmed their first case. We have a totally under control. It's, one person coming in from China and we have it under control. It's, going to be just fine.

Four days later, the CDC had developed a test kit and saw FDA approval, while South Korea was already shipping its kits to labs across the country 12 days after that, the CDC finally followed suit. While South Korea was already developing a faster test and deploying that looks like by April, you know in theory when it gets a little warmer miraculously goes away.

Hope that's true, two days later, the CDC acknowledged that its tests were flawed in labs. Had to send results back to Atlanta, when you have 15 people and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero.

That's, a pretty good job. We've done by late February, merely three of the more than 100 public labs had a working CDC test. They're there, they have the test and the tests are beautiful. Anybody that age attest gets a touched by early March and six weeks since the first case was detected.

Just three thousand Americans had been tested, one in 100,000 residents compared to 342 in South Korea. I call it the unseen, the unseen enemy. You call it as if that was in different terms for it, but what it snuck up on us mid-march.

The US had tested 31 people per 100,000 residents and, while the u.s. caught up in surpassed South Korea's rate of testing on April 15th, those initial delays, combined with a message coming from the president, had serious consequences for the US response.

Without good data from testing, u.s. states were essentially flying blind throughout February and early March, as life went on largely as normal. The virus was spreading throughout the US. People think that goes away in April.

People are getting better, we're going down and we'll essentially have a flu shot for this a fairly quick having regularly downplay the threat. President Trump declared a national emergency. On march 13th, I'm, urging every state to set up emergency operation centers effective.

Immediately. Three days later, the White House issued social distancing guidelines on March 22nd. New York reported 100 deaths due to Kovan. So how did US states respond to the worsening situation here using the one death and a million measure again, so we can compare states with different populations.

You can see that New York, the epicenter of the outbreak, shut down after four days, New Jersey, could see what was happening to its neighbor and brought in restrictions after two days Louisiana a hot spot.

Thanks to Mardi Gras, took six days. These states reacted quickly, going into lockdown several days before, reaching that grim milestone in a bid to contain the outbreak. Yet these southern states did have deaths from kovat 19 and still waited much longer to order statewide shutdowns.

It took Georgia in South Carolina two full weeks before they ordered residents to stay at home, while Democratic governors shut their states down within two and a half days after seeing their first and 1 million deaths Republican governors, we did more than a week longer.

Nowhere in the world has responded perfectly to this pandemic, but other countries have succeeded in keeping their death tolls down. In contrast, more Americans have died from Kovan 19 than were killed in the Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq Wars combined in those early weeks.

The u.s. missed opportunities to contain the spread and save more lives. [, Music ]. You you


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