Fourth of July Activities Concerns Doctors And Local Officials
With Fourth of July weekend expected to add to the already rising rates of infections, doctors are worried about more hospitalizations and deaths in coming weeks.
"We are in free fall," said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, chief of infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital. "You see the footage of what happened this past weekend. And people are either naive to the influence of their actions, or they're simply resigned to ignore it."
Already, 32 states have rates of infection that are continuing to rise, and Fourth of July weekend is only expected to worsen those numbers. 14 states have numbers that have remain relatively steady, and four states, Connecticut, Kentucky, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, have reported a decline in the rate of new cases.
"We know of the 50,000 cases this past day -- a single day of this (holiday) weekend," Walensky said. "If they're young people, it could be 500 people who die from that. If they're older people, it could be 7,500 people who die from that -- just from a single day of infection."
"If we had stayed shut down for longer and opened more slowly, we would probably be in a more sustainable place in our economy,” said Lina Hidalgo, Texas’ Harris country government head.
Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego said that her state “opened way too early”, which contributed to a surge of cases within the 20-44 age range.
To add to the issues, Florida authorities have failed to keep up with contact tracing. Of the 27 Florida citizens who tested positive and were asked about contact tracing, only five said that they were called by health authorities.
Dr. Anthony Fauci said, “I don’t think we’re doing very well” in regard to contact tracing.
As of right now, only one drug, Remdesivir, has received authorization by the Food and Drug Administration to treat COVID-19. It has been shown already to shorten the recovery time of infected patients.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a former FDA Commissioner, says that the country only has enough of the drug if the pandemic doesn’t worsen. He states that the drug should only be used for those who are very sick or hospitalized.
However, according to FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen M. Hahn, the supply is in good shape and is being distributed by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Read the full report here.