“The worst is yet ahead for us,” Fauci warned, and the crisis could continue into the summer. “It’s how we respond [now] to that challenge that will determine what the ultimate endpoint is going to be.”
State officials across America had already begun to enact even tougher restrictions to try to slow the spread of coronavirus, as the country’s case count reached passed 9,000, with 149 deaths, CNN reported.
Aid to states
Trump’s announcement last Friday of a national emergency, nearly unprecedented in American history, immediately freed up more than $50 billion in federal funds to help states control the spread of COVID-19 before it overwhelms hospitals and health care systems.
“Through a very collective action and shared sacrifice and national determination, we will overcome the threat of the virus,” Trump said at a White House press briefing, flanked by top officials engaged in the coronavirus fight.
As well as delivering a huge funding boost, the national emergency declaration also greatly broadens the powers of the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), Alex Azar. The HHS can now bypass regulations that might otherwise hem in a hospital’s ability to reach peak performance as critically ill cases flood in.
The president also said his administration is doubling down on testing for COVID-19. Experts, including Fauci, have already called the slow rollout of such tests a system failure.
Now, there’s “a new partnership with the private sector to vastly accelerate and test for the coronavirus,” Trump said last Friday.
Beyond that, Trump and health officials said that Google will soon create a new website that will let any American describe his or her symptoms online and, if applicable, be directed to the nearest drive-through testing site.
Stores such as Walmart, CVS and Walgreens will set aside part of their parking lots for drive-through testing.
Crisis is changing lives
In the meantime, the public lives of Americans have come to a halt, as the coronavirus pandemic prompted officials across the country to close, cancel or postpone any event or activity that might foster the spread of COVID-19.