- The plan aims to improve “government preparedness and response” to the epidemic.
- Nancy Pelosi the U.S. House Speaker tweeted that the bipartisan coronavirus emergency response package "will give the government the resources to keep Americans safe."
- Washington is the most affected state, with more than 70 cases and 11 deaths.
President Trump has signed an $8.3 billion emergency plan to fight against the spread of the new coronavirus in the country. The bill passed easily through both houses of Congress on Thursday. The Senate voted almost unanimously (96-1) in favor of this exceptional funding. The idea had already received the full support of the House of Representatives on Wednesday.
“The American people are looking for leadership and want assurance that their government is up to the task of protecting their health and safety,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT). The senator welcomed the text that was drafted and approved by both parties “in nine days due to the emergency.”
The plan aims to improve “government preparedness and response” to the epidemic, allocating funds for vaccine research and development, medical treatments and diagnosis, as well as assistance for the development of remote medical care. Nancy Pelosi, the U.S. House Speaker, tweeted that ”the bipartisan #coronavirus emergency response package will give the government the resources to keep Americans safe. With my signature, it goes to the President’s desk,” she said in the tweet.
The country’s leading nurses’ union, the NNU, denounced the lack of preparation and the lack of adequate protective equipment, as well as the insufficient training of health professionals in various hospitals and clinics to deal with the epidemic. In the United States, more than 180 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19, which has so far left 12 dead, according to a count made Thursday by AFP based on data from official sources.
Washington is the most affected state, with more than 70 cases and 11 deaths, particularly in the northwest. In Seattle, its largest city, technology companies Amazon, Google, Facebook and Microsoft have asked their employees to embrace telework to avoid contamination.
Further south, health officials began to carry out analysis on board a cruise ship, Grand Princess, where about 35 suspected of being infected were detected. The ship, which carries more than 3,500 passengers, was blocked a hundred kilometers off the coast of California.
A 71-year-old man who was traveling on that ship during a previous cruise in Mexico died of COVID-19. The Grand Princess belongs to the company Princess Cruises, which also owns the Diamond Princess, quarantined in Japan in February with more than 700 contaminants, six of whom died.
A health conference that was expected to gather more than 40,000 people in Orlando, Florida, was canceled Thursday, four days before it opened with President Donald Trump having been expected to attend. The American government repeats that the risk of an epidemic in the country remains low. The Deputy Secretary of Health, Brett Giroir, calculated the mortality rate of COVID-19 is between 0.1% and a maximum of 1%.
On Wednesday, Trump criticized the 3.4% index presented by the WHO, saying that his “hunch” says it’s “false.” The WHO, however, bases its estimate only on the number of confirmed cases.
The death rate “is probably higher than seasonal flu”, which is 0.1% according to US health services “, but certainly not 2% to 3%,” said Giroir. Worldwide, the epidemic has so far recorded 97,616 known cases, including 3,347 deaths in 85 countries and territories, according to the AFP count.