U.S. Could Become COVID-19 Pandemic Epicenter, WHO Warns; U.S. Government Response Too Complex, Experts Say

Reuters: U.S. has potential of becoming coronavirus epicenter, says WHO
“The World Health Organization said on Tuesday it was seeing a ‘very large acceleration’ in coronavirus infections in the United States which had the potential of becoming the new epicenter. Over the past 24 hours, 85 percent of new cases were from Europe and the United States, WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris told reporters. Of those, 40 percent were from the United States…” (Farge et al., 3/24).

USA TODAY: The U.S. had a chance to learn from anthrax, SARS, H1N1 and Ebola. So why is the federal coronavirus response so messy?
“…In 2018, President Donald Trump adopted a National Biodefense Strategy. It largely followed recommendations of a commission founded and directed by [Robert] Kadlec, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel and physician who has held senior positions at the White House, Senate, and Pentagon. Kadlec was appointed to oversee preparedness and response at the Department of Health and Human Services. But the document approved by Trump was a blueprint, not a game plan. The ideas weren’t implemented before COVID-19 arrived in the USA. And the federal government’s response shows it…” (Wagner/Slack, 3/23).

Washington Post: Trump weighs restarting economy despite warnings from U.S. public health officials
“President Trump on Monday said he is considering scaling back steps to constrain the spread of the coronavirus in the next week or two because of concerns that the impact on the economy has become too severe. But loosening restrictions on social distancing and similar measures soon probably would require him to override the internal warnings of senior U.S. health officials, including Anthony S. Fauci, who have said that the United States has not yet felt the worst of the pandemic, according to several people with knowledge of the internal deliberations…” (Dawsey et al., 3/23).

The Atlantic: How the Coronavirus Became an American Catastrophe (Madrigal/Myer, 3/21).

Gizmodo: U.S. State Department Seeks Help From Foreign Aid Recipients For Scarce Medical Supplies (Novak, 3/24).

The Hill: Biden: Trump’s ‘failure of planning and preparation’ worsened coronavirus crisis (Easley, 3/23).

Kaiser Health News: CDC Coronavirus Testing Decision Likely To Haunt Nation For Months To Come (Pradhan, 3/23).

PBS Frontline: “Get Ready”: From Italy’s Doctors, a Dire Warning for America on COVID-19 (Taddonio, 3/23).

POLITICO: Trump works to rewrite narrative on coronavirus response (Kumar, 3/24).

STAT: Desperate for Covid-19 answers, U.S. doctors turn to colleagues in China (Begley, 3/24).

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

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