Many US officials have warned of the risk of an outbreak of the Covid-19 virus caused by the new corona virus in the US, but some of the agencies responsible for protecting the American people do not seem ready to respond to this threat.
On 25 February, Dr Anne Schuchat, Deputy Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned of the Covid-19 epidemic: “It is likely that this virus will cause a pandemic. This is also a really appropriate time for the American public prepares”.
Currently, only 7 public health agencies can test the new corona virus across the US. The US government has less than 10% of the mask needed to protect health workers as well as the public. The government also does not have enough budget to support the efforts of health departments, although it is preparing to spend more.
On February 26, President Donald Trump again announced the different message: “It is possible that the virus will not spread. It is also possible that it will spread.”
Contradictory messages from the White House and senior US officials about the severity of the Covid-19 epidemic risk only contributed to further panic.
Dr Anne Schuchat, deputy director of the CDC on February 25, said: “At present, the question is no longer whether a translation will occur or not, but exactly when the outbreak will occur”.
But the very next day, President Trump said: “It is likely that the situation will significantly deteriorate. But nothing is certain at all.”
Although the Covid-19 epidemic has been sweeping China for the past two months, only this week did the Trump administration propose a budget of $ 2.5 billion to support the epidemic. Many other Democrats and Republicans criticized this level as being too little.
Many critics criticize the Trump administration for wasting valuable weeks by focusing only on keeping the disease from crossing the border into the United States without increasing resources to prepare the American community if there is an outbreak in the country.
To date, the US strategy has focused almost exclusively on testing passengers suspected of being infected with the virus. People with flu-like symptoms can only be tested for Covid-19 if they have been to a country where the virus is spreading. This raises concerns that there are more cases of Covid-19 in the United States than the numbers are discovered.
Meanwhile, on February 27, California Governor Gavin Newsom, referring to the first case of coronavirus in the United States that the infected person had never been to the epidemic area, acknowledged that his state did not have enough Covid-19 test kits.
Earlier, Davis University in California announced a case where a patient who did not go to an epidemic area and did not come into contact with a person infected with Covid-19 had been referred to a hospital with severe pneumonia symptoms.
The hospital requires a corona virus test. However, because this patient met the criteria set by the CDC, the Covid-19 tests were delayed for several days.