The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 is getting worse across the world with every passing day. At the time of writing this article on April 7, 2020, John Hopkins University & Medicine’s Coronavirus Resource Center shows that there have been 1,359,398 confirmed infection cases and 75,945 total deaths globally from this new strain of coronavirus. The only news of relief is that 289,109 people have recovered till now.
The coronavirus cases in the US are getting worse every day. The spread of COVID-19 in the United States in 2020 started rather late. While the first declared case of COVID-19 in Wuhan, China was on December 31, 2019, the first case of COVID-19 infection in the US occurred on January 21, 2020.
Even the US President Donald Trump, who was claiming just 1-month back that the virus was “very much under control,” has now warned that the COVID-19 pandemic is going to get much worse.
As the total number of confirmed cases in the US crossed 300,000, US President Donald Trump has warned on Sunday (April 5, 2020) that this is going to be “the hardest and saddest week of most Americans’ lives.”
Though Trump announced federal recommendations to practice physical distancing on March 29, 2020 and recommended to continue it till the end of April to limit the damage, the leading economy of the world is grappling to contain the spiraling situation.
Officials throughout the US are scrambling to find enough ventilators to treat severe COVID-19 patients and protective gear/supplies for hospital staff. Many state governors have imposed restrictions (including stay-at-home orders) to contain the spread of COVID-19 infection. Reports indicate that these restrictions could continue till June.
The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic is adversely affecting the US both in terms of health and economy.
How did the US get COVID-19
The novel coronavirus crisis began in Wuhan (in China’s Hubei province) in late-December 2019, and, within a couple of months, COVID-19 became a global pandemic. Hundreds and thousands of people across the world are either being infected or dead because of coronavirus pandemic.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared COVID-19 novel coronavirus a global health emergency.
Now, let’s have a closer look at the chronology of events to understand how the COVID-19 started and unfolded into a severe health issue in the United States:
December 31, 2019
WHO said that mysterious pneumonia has made dozens of people sick in China
~ Chinese health authorities confirmed it and said that this particular pneumonia has an unknown origin. The authorities also said that those dozen people down with mysterious pneumonia had recently visited a meat market that sold live animals.
January 11, 2020
First Reported Coronavirus Death in China
~ A 61-year-old man who visited Wuhan’s (in China’s Hubei province) live animal market died, as per Chinese State Media.
January 21, 2020
First Novel Coronavirus Infection Case Confirmed in the US
~ A person in his 30s living in Washington state reportedly diagnosed with novel coronavirus infection. He reportedly traveled to Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, earlier.
January 30, 2020
WHO declares Novel Coronavirus as a Global Health Emergency
~ It is only the 6th time in the history that WHO has declared any disease a public health emergency of international concern. World Health Organization declares a disease as an emergency only in case of extraordinary events, which threatens the global community of unbridled spreading.
February 11, 2020
WHO formally renames Wuhan’s Novel Coronavirus as COVID-19
~ World Health Organization has renamed the Wuhan novel coronavirus as COVID-19, where “Co” stands for Coronavirus, “Vi” stands for Virus, and “D” stands for Disease.
~ While naming a disease of international concern, the health officials avoid naming it after a specific geographic location (such as Wuhan, Hubei, etc.), animal (such as bats, dogs, cats, etc.), or group of people (such as Chinese, African, American, etc.) so that no people or place gets stigmatized.
February 26, 2020
First Suspected Case of COVID-19’s Local Transmission in the US
~ The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirms the first confirmed case of COVID-19 coronavirus infection in a person who had no travel history or didn’t have contact with someone diagnosed with the virus. The US states such as Washington, Oregon, and New York reported their cases of possible local transmission of COVID-19.
February 29, 2020
First Death from COVID-19 in the US
~ The Washington state reports its first COVID-19 death on February 29 after a person having no travel history to China dies on February 28 in Kirkland’s Evergreen Health Medical Center. It is also the documented death from the pandemic in the United States. However, later it was found out that two persons had died from COVID-19 infection on February 26, in a nearby nursing home.
March 3, 2020
CDC issues New Guidelines for COVID-19 Testing without Restriction
~ Earlier CDC tested only those people who had severe symptoms, came in close contact with people diagnosed with novel coronavirus or had recent traveling history to areas or countries suffering from the COVID-19 outbreak. On March 3, 2020, CDC issued new guidance allowing anyone to be tested for COVID-19 infection without restriction.
March 13, 2020
National Emergency Declared by the US President Donald Trump
~ US National Emergency was declared by US President Donald Trump, paving the way for releasing up to US$50 billion funds to combat the COVID-19 emergency.
March 15, 2020
CDC warns against Holding or Attending Large Gatherings for 8-Weeks
CDC warned Americans to avoid holding or gathering in social events (such as marriages, conferences, sporting events, concerts, or parades) for 8-weeks. It also urged people to postpone or cancel such public gatherings or events, which could transmit the highly infectious COVID-19 to newer communities.
March 17, 2020
COVID-19 Spreads to all US States; “Shelter in Place” Order Issued in Northern California
~ West Virginia reported its first case of infection from COVID-19. This means that the coronavirus had now spread to all the 50 US States.
~ Northern Californians were ordered by the Authorities to “Shelter in Place” for 3-weeks.
~ The “shelter in place” order was issued in 6 counties in San Fransisco by the authorities. This order restricts the movement of residents of that area from coming out of the house. However, a resident can come out of the house either for exercising outdoors or for an essential reason.
March 20, 2020
New York City became COVID-19’s Outbreak Epicenter in the US
~ New York City was declared as the epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis in the US by its Mayor Bill de Blasio after more than 15,000 people tested positive, accounting for around half of the coronavirus infections in the entire United States. He warned that the outbreak could get worse with dwindling supplies.
~ Amid this growing worry, American sportspeople start discussing how safe participation in the Tokyo Olympics would be. Earlier, many countries, including Canada and Australia, had announced that they would not send their athletes to the Olympics due to the public health risk from the COVID-19 pandemic. So, on March 24, 2020, Japan postpones the Olympics till summer 2021.
March 27, 2020
COVID-19 Cases in the US Surpass 100,000; FDA Issues Guidelines; President Trump invokes the Defense Production Act
Confirmed Cases Surpass 100,000
The total number of infection cases from COVID-19 novel coronavirus in the US crosses 100,000.
FDA Issues Crisis Guidelines
US Food and Drug Administration (popularly called FDA) issues crisis guidelines regarding the use of respirators and facemasks for expanding availability.
White House: US President Trump invokes the Defense Production Act, Signs the CARES Act into Law
~ The US President Donald Trump invokes the Defense Production Act and issues orders to General Motors to produce ventilators.
~ The US President Donald Trump signs the CARES Act into law, thereby addressing the economic fallout of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
March 28, 2020
CDC Issues Travel Advisory for People of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut
~ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urged the residents of New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey to avoid any kind of domestic travel (except essential or emergency ones) “for 14 days effective immediately”. This advisory was meant for the residents of these paces only and not for the workers of critical infrastructure industries (including public health, food supply, financial services, and trucking).
March 30, 2020
More US States Issue Stay-At-Home Advisory
~ More and more US States started to issue stay-at-home directives as well as strict measures to its residents so that the spread of COVID-19 can be restricted. Specified stay-at-home orders were given by Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. North Carolina and Kansas also gave similar orders.
March 31, 2020
Death Toll in the US Surpasses China; US HHS Accelerates Vaccine Development Process
~ On March 31, 2020, the total number of deaths in the US (more than 3,600 deaths) from COVID-19 surpassed that of China (more than the 3,309), as per the data of John Hopkins University and Medicine’s Croronavirus Resource Center.
US HHS Accelerates Development & Manufacture of Vaccines
The US Department of Health and Human Services (US HHS) collaborated with Janssen Research & Development of Johnson & Johnson as well as for biotechnology firm Moderna for accelerating the effort of developing and manufacturing vaccines for COVID-19 infection.
The United States urges India to Lift Export Ban on Pharmaceutical Ingredients
US urges India to do away with its ban on the export of pharmaceutical ingredients amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, especially when the US became the worst-affected country (164,500 confirmed infection cases and 3,100 deaths till the end of March) in the world.
April 1, 2020
UN Chief Calls COVID-19 Pandemic Worst Crisis since WWII; FDA Launches New Program to Accelerate Treatment; New Vaccine by June 2020
UN Chief Calls COVID-19 Pandemic Worst Crisis since WWII
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned the world that novel coronavirus pandemic is the most challenging crisis to humankind since World War II as it would contribute to “enhanced instability, enhanced unrest, and enhanced conflict.” He went on to ask for a much more reliable and more effective global response to the pandemic. At the time of his speech at the launch of a report on the socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19, the total number of infected persons across the world was around 922,000. At that time, the death toll in the US had crossed 4,300.
FDA Launches New Program for Accelerating Development Efforts to Bring Therapies to COVID-19 Patients
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched a new program called “Coronavirus Treatment Acceleration Program” (CTAP) for accelerating the process of bringing therapies and treatments to patients.
Kentucky BioProcessing Leveraging Technology to Develop Vaccine
US biotech subsidiary of British American Tobacco (BAT), known as Kentucky BioProcessing (KBP), has started using its fast-growing tobacco plant technology for developing a vaccine to protect from COVID-19 novel coronavirus. This company was also part of developing ZMapp against Ebola in the mid-2010s. KBP hopes to produce one and three million vaccines every week by June 2020.
April 2, 2020: The US Crosses 5,000 Total Deaths; 12-18 Months Needed for the US to come up with a Vaccine
US witnesses Highest Death Toll in a Single Day, Crosses 5,000 Total Deaths
A total of 5,116 people have died (till 0235 GMT Thursday) in the US. Though the total death toll in the US is lower than that of Italy and Spain, it is higher than that of China (which was above 3,316).
The US also recorded the highest number of deaths of 884 people in a single day.
Dr. Anthony Fauci sais US will need 12-18 Months to Develop a Vaccine
The top infectious diseases advisor to the White House and Director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has tempered the enthusiasm of US Health Secretary Alex Azar by saying that it would “at least” take 12-to-18 months for the United States to get a vaccine for COVID-19.
April 3, 2020
Global Confirmed Infections Crosses 1 Million, Deaths More than 50,000
Total Global Confirmed COVID-19 Infection Cases Cross 1 Million, Death Toll Over 50,000, Over 200,000 Recovered
~ Coronavirus Resource Center of John Hopkins University & Medicine shows that at 4:58 pm GMT on April 3, 2020 (Friday), the total confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection across the world are 1,056,777 and death toll is 55,781. The total number of persons who have recovered from COVID-19 infection is 223,697.
~ The US tops the chart with 257,773 cases, followed by Spain (117,710 cases), Italy (115,242 cases), Germany (89,451 cases), China (82,509 cases), France (59,942 cases), and Iran (53,183 cases).
~ The maximum number of deaths from COVID-19 has taken place in Italy (13,915), followed by Spain (10,935), the US (6,586), France (5,387), the UK (3,605), China (3,326), and Iran (3,294).
~ China tops the chart in terms of total patients who have recovered from COVID-19 with 76,760 recoveries. Other countries where the most numbers of patients have recovered are Spain (30,513), Germany (24,575), Italy (18,278), France (12,548), US (9,311), South Korea (6,021), and Switzerland (4,846).
US Labor Department Report shows 701,000 Jobs lost in March 2020, Worst since 2009 US Financial Crisis
Employment data published by the US Labor Department on Friday shows that the unemployment rate increased by 4.4% in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 coronavirus shutdowns.
The report says that 701,000 jobs were lost during March 2020, which is the worst since March 2009 (during which the global financial crisis was at its peak).
The report was unable to quantify the exact effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the job market in March; it said that it was the highest increase in the jobless rate in more than 45-years.
Dismal US jobs report adversely affected the US stock market. While the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite fell by 1.8%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped by 1.7% (370 points). Another volatile week of trading came to an end on Friday with the bears knocking down the bulls yet again.
April 5, 2020
COVID-19 Confirmed Cases Cross 300,000 in the US; New York & New Jersey Worst Affected States
New York and New Jersey are the Worst Affected US States
The worst affected states in the US are New York and New Jersey. The death tolls in the states of New York and New Jersey are 4,159 and 917, respectively. New York City is grappling with the worsening COVID-19 coronavirus infection as the cases increased by 4,245 in a day to 67,551 on Sunday (April 5, 2020).
April 6, 2020
Death Toll in the US Nears 10,000, Total Deaths across Globe Nears 70,000
While the total confirmed COVID-19 infection cases in the United States on Monday morning (April 6, 2020; 5 am GMT) stands at 337,637, the death toll is nearing 10,000 (9,647). Globally, confirmed cases of infection are over 1,275,542, and the death toll nears 70,000 (69,498).
April 7, 2020
COVID-19 Death Toll Globally Crosses 75,000, Death Toll in US Crosses 10,000; Death Rate in New York Falls Flat
- COVID-19 Death Toll Globally Crosses 75,000, Death Toll in the US Crosses 10,000
The global death toll from COVID-19 novel coronavirus has reached 75,945 on April 7, 2020, at 3.37 pm (1007 hours GMT). The total confirmed infection cases across the globe has increased to 1,359,398. In the US, the death toll has become 10,993 and the confirmed COVID-19 cases have reached 368,449.
- New York sees Signs of Hope
The death toll in New York, the worst affected state in the United States, has reached 4758 till now. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has said that the COVID-19 death rate is falling flat for the last 2 days. The governor has extended the shutdown till April 29, 2020.
The US Response to COVID-19 Pandemic & Criticisms
The gravity of the situation in the US has even made US President Donald Trump warned that the COVID-19 pandemic is going to get much worse.
To deal with such emergencies, the US has reportedly adopted an aggressive stance (of buying, redirecting, or confiscating essential medical masks and other Personal Protective Equipment or PPE) that was bound to other countries.
While Canada, Spain, and Brazil have expressed their frustration regarding Trump administration’s aggressive outbidding tactics, Germany accused the US of carrying out “modern piracy.”
The US President Donald Trump has warned on Sunday (April 5, 2020) that this is going to be “the hardest and saddest week of most Americans’ lives.” His warning comes after the total confirmed cases in the United States crossed 300,000.