The coronavirus epidemic in the United States is simply rampant. Only in the past 24 hours, 1,736 people died in the country, and this is the highest figure since the start of the COVID-19 death march in America.
President Trump still does not go beyond the image of a strong and charismatic leader of the nation, for whom any problem is on the shoulder.
At the end of March, the United States took first place in the world in the number of coronaviruses infected, overtaking Italy, Spain, and China. Since then, the gap has only increased вЂ” on April 7 in the United States, there were almost 370 thousand sick and more than 10 thousand dead.
Following the number of infected, another indicator quickly jumped вЂ” the number of Americans who applied for unemployment benefits. At the end of last week, there were already nine million people.
Most of the new applications were probably submitted after Congress passed on March 27, and Donald Trump signed the law on emergency economic support. The law allowed self-employed and part-time Americans to register and apply for benefits. In addition, to all U.S. residents who have currently paid taxes for at least 2018, the federal government promises a one-time payment of up to $1,200.
In total, the law spells out $2 trillion of government spending вЂ” even taking into account inflation, this is twice as much as Congress allocated to fight the recession in the crisis year of 2009. However, in recent history, nothing similar to the current epidemic has happened to the United States.
The anti-crisis package made the tests for coronavirus free for all Americans, but those who get to the hospital without medical insurance owe tens of thousands of dollars.
Uninsured Americans (there were 27 million in 2018) are heavily loaned without this, often due to past treatment debts. As a rule, they work in low paid jobs and cannot even afford to get sick at home, not to mention hospitalization. In the United States, employers are not required to provide sick leave for employees.
In such circumstances, many have to go to work through force and thereby spread the virus. In addition, often medical debts are untreated and chronic diseases. They complicate the clinical picture with coronavirus and increase the likelihood of death, even for relatively young people.
Those who receive health insurance through an employer risk losing it in the current crisis along with work. In this situation, you can go to the state insurer of the poor Medicaid, but the registration criteria vary from state to state. Many people risk not qualifying for income: if it is too high, they will have to look for insurance in the open market, whose response to the pandemic (and, accordingly, the price of insurance) is now difficult to predict.
At the same time, the epidemic is still far from a peak. At a briefing in the White House on April 1, the presidential working group on the fight against coronavirus presented a statistical model according to which from 100 to 240 thousand people could die in the United States by mid-June, even if the entire population strictly observes quarantine for a month.
The model, based on the calculations of epidemiologists from American and British universities, reflects, among other things, the limitations that the American political system places on the executive branch. The White House officially recommends that Americans isolate themselves, but these recommendations have no legal effect. Therefore, epidemiologists do not take them into account.
Where quarantine has already been introduced, it can hardly be compared in severity with Chinese or Italian. For example, in many states, church services are still allowed, and gun stores are recognized as the вЂњnecessaryвЂќ industry, even at the federal level.
It is the state authorities that currently take the initiative in combating the epidemic, and coordination with the center leaves much to be desired. Donald Trump declared a state of emergency in the country on March 13. In theory, after that, the states should have received additional tranches from the federal government, including the purchase of medical equipment. In addition to money, states can also request direct shipments of protective equipment and ventilators from a national strategic stockpile.
However, in the past two years, this stock has not actually been replenished due to disagreements on financing between the Ministry of Health (HHS), which disposed of it, and the White House administrative and budget department.