Brian Palmer’s letter (3/26) said that the coronavirus that is sweeping this country is just another “flu” that has been deliberately mislabeled by people who want to blame Donald Trump. When Palmer wrote that letter, he said that the death toll was 170 in our country. On March 26, as I read his letter, the U.S. death toll is 1,200, with 81,321 cases of the virus in the U.S. When this letter is published , the figure will be much, much higher. The novel coronavirus is not the flu, there are no known medications with which to treat it, and there will be no vaccine for it for at least a year and a half. The U.S. does not have enough masks, protective clothing or medical equipment for the medical teams that are working overtime to save lives in hospitals across the country.
In the last week, three million Americans lost their jobs as many state governors tried to control the spread of the virus in their states by closing down most public places. They also asked everyone to stay home except those who work in hospitals, in stores that sell essentials such as food and medicine, those who drive the trucks that bring the food and those who deliver the mail. Hospitals in New York City and Louisiana are overwhelmed with people who have the virus, which first struck heavily in Washington state and California. It isn’t if but when it will kill more people in Oregon and many other states.
This is a national emergency in a world that is experiencing a world emergency, with 22,295 deaths worldwide as of today. It will get worse.