USA emerges as the new worldwide epicenter of the coronavirus; unemployment soars


(photo: AFP / Angela Weiss)
(photo: AFP / Angela Weiss)

New York, United States –The United States is fast becoming a new epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, as the skyrocketing of cases on Thursday shows, while unemployment reaches historic highs.

New York hospitals have claimed to be overwhelmed by the growing number of Covid-19 cases, and about 40% of the country’s population is quarantined. Still, Wall Street recovered part of this month’s gigantic loss with the announcement of a $ 2 trillion economic bailout package negotiated in Congress.

More than 100 deaths from the new coronavirus have been reported in the past 24 hours in New York, where a long line of people, most wearing masks and standing two meters away from others, waited outside Elmhurst hospital, in Queens, to be tested.

The Andrew Cuomo government said the priority was to “flatten the curve” of new cases in the New York metropolitan area. The state has 53,000 hospital beds, but is trying to increase its capacity to 140,000, which it believes will be needed in 20 days, when the pandemic peak is reached.

“We know that we will face enormous challenges in terms of creating enough space in hospitals or having a sufficient number of staff trained to help us in this crisis,” commented New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The number of deaths caused by the new coronavirus reached 1,000 on Wednesday night, and the country had 69,246 confirmed cases, according to the Johns Hopkins University database. More than a third of these deaths occurred in the state of New York. The true number of cases can be much higher, as there are not enough tests available.

– Unemployment skyrockets –

The pandemic has already wreaked havoc on the world’s largest economy, which appears to be heading for a recession. According to the Labor Department, 3.3 million people applied for unemployment benefits last week, the highest figure ever recorded. Thousands of jobs were lost in bars, restaurants, hotels and in the transport and entertainment industries.

The normally polarized American Congress came together to face the crisis. The Senate unanimously approved, this dawn, a stimulus package of 2 trillion dollars – the biggest ransom in American history -, which will allow families with an average of four people to receive a payment of 3,400 dollars.

The bill will be discussed tomorrow in the House of Representatives. “To be approved, with strong bipartisan support,” said chamber leader Nancy Pelosi. “Tomorrow, we will have a victory for American workers.”

Many traders expect Covid-19 to be a short-term challenge, followed by a strong recovery, a view shared by President Donald Trump, who is betting on a strong economy to win his re-election in November.

Trump said he hoped that by April 12, the Americans would return to normal life, a goal that health experts do not consider realistic and that, they say, will meet quarantine decreed in several countries to minimize infections with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. .

American scientist Anthony Fauci, a leader in the fight against the pandemic, warned that the virus could return, making the international race for a vaccine all the more urgent.

According to Fauci, director of infectious diseases at the National Health Institute, the disease begins to settle in the southern hemisphere, which entered the fall. “If, in fact, there is a substantial outbreak, it will be inevitable to be prepared for a second cycle of the virus,” he warned.

“This underlines the need to do what we are doing to develop a vaccine, test it quickly and try to be ready for this next cycle,” warned the scientist.

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