EYEAFRICA TV: New York City, USA: The government of the United States was slothful in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, ignoring the early alarm raised by top health care experts, according to several major news outlets.
The USA Today reported on Tuesday that in mid-February, the nation’s top health care officials tried to raise the alarm that the COVID-19 might be spreading from patients who are asymptomatic in a chain of emails called “Red Dawn” to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
However, the HHS, which oversees the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), chose not to take those experts’ concerns too seriously.
In consequence, both the HHS and the White House did not address the early warnings raised in the Red Dawn emails nor follow up on the issue and the measures to take.
In another story published by Reuters on Tuesday, it was reported that the U.S. federal government, despite making promises, failed to provide the necessary testing kits for some of the top hospitals in the country, weeks after patients with COVID-19 symptoms started to arrive.
When Amy Mathers, an infectious disease physician at the University of Virginia Medical Center, and her colleagues tried to develop an in-house testing capacity, they found the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) protocol hard to follow, unreliable, and unrealistic.
She told Reuters that the whole process was “like the CDC had a recipe and you had to use the exact brand of olive oil, the exact brand of pasta.”
States across the country are now competing among each other for medical supplies, with some taking extreme measures, according to a story published by The Hill, an American news website, on Wednesday.
In the same story, it was also reported that some states have had to turn to the federal government for help, but have not yet received all they have requested.
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States climbed to 419,975 and the total deaths reached 14,262 as of 16:00 EDT on Wednesday, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.
The pandemic has spread to all the 50 states and the Washington D.C., with the state of New York being the hardest hit, with 779 deaths on a single day of Tuesday.