ROME (AP) — With confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. hitting 5 million Sunday, by far the highest of any country, the failure of the most powerful nation in the world to contain the scourge has been met with astonishment and alarm in Europe. Perhaps nowhere outside the U.S. is America’s bungled virus response viewed with more consternation than in Italy, which was ground zero of Europe’s epidemic. Italians were unprepared when the outbreak exploded in February, and the country still has one of the world’s highest official death tolls at over 35,000. But after a strict nationwide, 10-week lock-down, vigilant tracing of new clusters and general acceptance of mask mandates and social distancing, Italy has become a model of virus containment.
“Don’t they care about their health?” a mask-clad Patrizia Antonini asked about people in the United States as she walked with friends along the banks of Lake Bracciano, north of Rome. “They need to take our precautions. … They need a real lock-down.” Much of the incredulity in Europe stems from the fact that America had the benefit of time, European experience and medical know-how to treat the virus that the continent itself didn’t have when the first COVID-19 patients started filling intensive care units. More than four months into a sustained outbreak, the U.S. reached the 5 million mark, according to the running count kept by Johns Hopkins University. Health officials believe the actual number is perhaps 10 times higher, or closer to 50 million, given testing limitations and the fact that as many as 40% of all those who are infected have no symptoms.
“We Italians always saw America as a model,” said Massimo Franco, a columnist with daily Corriere della Sera. “But with this virus we’ve discovered a country that is very fragile, with bad infrastructure and a public health system that is nonexistent.” With America’s world’s-highest death toll of more than 160,000, its politicized resistance to masks and its rising caseload, European nations have barred American tourists and visitors from other countries with growing cases from freely traveling to the bloc. France and Germany are now imposing tests on arrival for travelers from “at risk” countries, the U.S. included. “I am very well aware that this impinges on individual freedoms, but I believe that this is a justifiable intervention,” German Health Minister Jens Spahn said last week. –AP
I am under the belief that after the election, those number may magically drop. But it is the death rate that seems to be dropping. After President Trump close the air bridge from China to The U.S. many of the Chinese then reportedly went to Italy. In the area where they had the highest fatality rate, co-located is the largest Chinese community. There is a silent invasion underway.
We haven’t seen anything yet. Flu season starts in October. And back to school before that…
Hey, i love your blog, i’ve been following it for years, but i have to ask you to leave politics away from here please.
One of the privileges of having a blog is publishing exactly what I want without people telling me what to do, just as I don’t tell you what to read. Understood- Good.
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I understand, and i just wanted to express my concern that you were changing the focus of this blog. We have hundreds of places bashing this or that political party, but very few focus on disaster news like you do.
I can appreciate what you’re saying and I won’t be one of them. We have a sister blog for geopolitical events but there is so much bitterness and divisiveness out there – there is no point muddying the waters – and just let the election run its course.
Thanks for being a loyal reader and follower.
When I first traveled to Europe and returned, the obesity and general poor health of Americans was quite evident. Although America has one of the best health care systems of the world, the practice is to treat the patient with medication for symptoms, but not addressing the root cause (such as poor diet)
If a country has significant population with high risk factors for COVID-19, then it seems obvious the country would have a high rate of covid19. Secondarily, if a nation is wealthy, it can afford to test enough people to have a 95% negative rate. United States is testing people that European nations would never test because of the costs. If 5% of population has the virus, then if you increase sample size there will be more positive results. I have to take the covid19 test not because I am sick, but because I am having surgery.
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You are so correct. Side effects of medication has caused me more anxiety and pain that I like. So, I changed my diet, dropped 25 or so pounds, started a non-THC Hemp regiment each day and lessen the medical dosage I have been taking. I was taking nearly 10 pills a day and now down to 5. I used to have to take my sugar each day but in the last two years, I haven’t. Doctors love to medicate and you have to take charge of your health.