The coronavirus situation in the United States "is going to get worse," Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told politicians. Washington DC Wednesday, saying the virus is killing people at a higher rate than the flu.
"It is 10 times more lethal than seasonal flu," Fauci told the Oversight and Reform Committee of the Chamber.
The seasonal flu death rate is about 0.1 percent, Fauci said. When all possible cases are considered, the coronavirus has a mortality rate of about 1 percent, Fauci estimated.
The coronavirus has already infected more than 1,000 people and has been found in about 40 states in the United States. USA, According to reports. At least 31 people have died from the disease in the United States.
When asked by a committee member if the virus was expected to spread further, Fauci replied, "Yes, it is."
Authorities at the state and local levels have taken steps to stop the spread of the virus, including cancellations of large meetings. Democratic presidential candidates, former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders canceled protests in Cleveland. Washington Governor Jay Inslee banned meetings of more than 250 people on Wednesday and said he could soon close schools to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
But the community's spread of the virus has outpaced these efforts, Fauci said.
"The worst we will worsen will depend on our ability to do two things: contain the influx of infected people coming from abroad and the ability to contain and mitigate within our own country, "he said.
TThe United States faces a lack of test kits for the virus, among other challenges. Dr. Robert Redfield, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said during the hearing that the US public health system. UU. It could evaluate about 75,000 people.
President Donald Trump has faced criticism for his administration's response to the virus. Following a historic crash in the U.S. stock market on Monday, Trump announced a series of measures and proposals to combat the economic effects of the virus.
World markets have continued to rise and fall dramatically in the following days.
Trump said at a press conference on Monday night that the stock market turmoil was "very, very dramatic and we have a great economy, we have a strong economy, but this surprised the world and I think we have handled it very, very all right,quot;. .
The Trump administration announced Tuesday that insurance companies would waive copayments for tests and proposed a reduction of the payroll tax to stem the economic consequences.
On Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that the White House was examining tax relief measures, loan guarantees, worker reimbursement for lost wages, help small and medium-sized businesses and support airlines, hotels and other travel businesses.
Mnuchin compared the coronavirus outbreak to a hurricane and said the costs should be collected. But he said Trump firmly felt that American companies needed to be protected, not rescued.
"What we do, more or less in the next 48 hours, that's just the first step. We will be back. And I think there is great bipartisan support. People understand that we have to help small and medium-sized businesses and certain industries," Mnuchin told a committee of the House of Representatives.
The United States House of Representatives is drafting a coronavirus response bill and plans to vote on Thursday, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Wednesday.
Democrats, who control the chamber, are considering including unemployment insurance, paid sick leave, and family and medical leave on the bill. Hoyer said Trump's proposed payroll tax cut is "non-initial,quot; and would not be included in the legislation.
Senate Democrats are expected to request that Trump declare a national emergency, which could ease restrictions on the import of coronavirus tests, among other measures.
Health Secretary Alex Azar said federal leaders were working with local officials in the hardest-hit states, including Washington, California, New York, Massachusetts and Florida, saying "strong mitigation steps,quot; could help save valuable time. .
However, the New York governor said federal officials had left states struggling to act on their own, including stepping up testing for the highly contagious and sometimes deadly respiratory disease.
"We cannot wait for the federal government because it is not going to happen," said Andrew Cuomo, who has deployed the National Guard to help contain an outbreak in the New York City suburbs.
"The federal government just fell on the job," Cuomo, a Democrat, told MSNBC, adding that he had told other state governors, "You are alone."
The new coronavirus emerged in China late last year. It appeared in new countries like Bolivia and Turkey this week, while Indonesia recorded its first death.
Globally, more than 4,200 people have died from the coronavirus and more than 118,000 cases have been confirmed, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), which declared the virus a "pandemic,quot; on Wednesday.
According to John Hopkins University, more than 66,000 people have recovered from the disease worldwide.