The Trump administration asked Congress for billions in COVID-19 assistance for Americans while a report said government responses in both the United States and the United Kingdom were suddenly being influenced by a grim analysis forecasting half a million to over 2 million deaths if the virus is allowed to run rampant without nonpharmaceutical interventions—ie, social isolation.
President Donald Trump asked Congress to speed emergency relief checks to Americans, enlisted the military for MASH-like hospitals, and implored people to stay home to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. Meanwhile, The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the Trump administration, as well as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, were influenced by a hair-raising analysis released Monday by the Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team. The paper said that if the pandemic turns into an epidemic that runs unchecked over the next several months, without nonpharmaceutical interventions—social isolation—Great Britain would see 510,000 deaths, and the United States 2.2 million.
Those numbers are just from coronavirus alone, and not from other deaths that would occur as healthcare systems are overwhelmed and intensive care units are overflowing, as individuals die from other diseases that could not be treated, such as cancer, cardiovascular issues, or traumatic accidents.
The Associated Press reported that the proposed economic package alone could approach $1 trillion, a rescue initiative not seen since the Great Recession.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed the Senate would not adjourn until it was passed, including the House’s $100 billion package of sick pay, emergency food and free testing, despite Republican objections.
Separately, The New York Times reported that an unprecedented effort by a team of hundreds of scientists are working at a “breakneck pace” to develop treatments for the coronavirus. Fifty drugs are being examined as possible treatments. Many of the candidate drugs have already been approved to treat other diseases, such as cancer.
The necessity of effective treatments to address the rapid spread of the coronavirus were further stressed by news issued today by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) saying that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes COVID-19 disease, is stable for several hours to days in aerosols and on services. Scientists found that SARS-CoV-2 was detectable in aerosols for up to 3 hours, up to 4 hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard, and up to 2 to 3 days on plastic and stainless steel.
In other developments Monday: