During the first briefing by the White House coronavirus task force in two months, Vice President Mike Pence described an alternate reality to what is actually happening in American cities across the country regarding the coronavirus pandemic, according to a couple of health experts.
“We are seeing a massive resurgence in our metropolitan areas in the southwestern part of the United States, here in Houston, Dallas, Phoenix and Los Angeles,” said Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor . Medical School, he told CNN’s Brianna Keilar shortly after the briefing ended.
“This is a tragedy, and what’s more, it doesn’t present itself as a tragedy, it presents itself as, ‘We are doing a pretty good job and now there are a couple of critical points.’ These are not “hotspots,” they are the largest metropolitan areas in the United States, “he said.
More about this: This first briefing since the end of April comes as cases increase in more than half of the states, with infections in some large states close to being out of control and filling hospital intensive care units.
“The vice president said the good news is that there is no increase in the positivity rate. That is absolutely false. We are seeing a sharp increase in the positivity rate and we will soon see an increase in deaths as well, ”said Hotez, noting that the deaths will surely follow the big resurgence in the number of cases. “They still held on to this discredited idea that much of the increase is due to increased evidence.”
CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta also said that the vice president presented an image that does not match at all the facts of what is happening with coronavirus infections in the country.
“Despite what you heard, we are in the midst of a public health disaster. I know that people are going to hear different things. There is a cognitive dissonance, but let me start with that, “Gupta told Keilar, stressing that this public health disaster was not inevitable.
“One of the first things that was said is that all 50 states are opening up in a safe and responsible manner. That is simply not true. I don’t think there is a single state that really followed the openness criteria that the task force itself established, ”said Gupta. “They say we have considerably expanded the evidence. We are probably still in 10% of the tests that we should do at this time of this pandemic. They say we have had 45 days to stop the spread. Well Brianna, as you just mentioned, we haven’t stopped the spread.
Gupta said the country had the highest number of daily infections since this pandemic started in the past 24 hours. “This is a problem. We can spin it in many different ways. But the reality is that things are not only bad, but they are as bad as they have been now with respect to new daily infections.”
Hotez said the meeting lost the opportunity to present some solutions. “The terrible part for me was that there were no ideas presented. They have no idea what to do, “he said. “There is no concrete federal plan to help metropolitan areas; not a single suggestion was made, ”he added.