WASHINGTON — Donald Trump has waived Thursday to the republican convention which was to be held in Florida next month, because of the pandemic of novel coronavirus, which has crossed the symbolic threshold of four million infections in the United States.
The disease seems to mark time in several regions of the country, but California has again beaten a record of contamination. And experts warn that the sub-capacity tests prevent to predict when the pandemic will reach its “peak”.
In this context of strong uncertainty, the president announced that he was canceling the “great” republican convention scheduled in Jacksonville for the enthrone as the party’s candidate for the presidential election of November 3.
“We’re not going to make a big public convention as such, this is not the time”, he declared during a point-release to the White House, saying that it was his duty as president to “protect the Americans”.
The republican convention was originally scheduled for Charlotte, North Carolina, from 24 to 27 August, but the democratic governor of the State had wanted a smaller format to comply with health recommendations. Some of the events held in Charlotte in respect of the contracts signed will still take place at the end of August, said Donald Trump.
Accused of having long downplayed the extent of the crisis to promote his chances of re-election, the billionaire new yorker has operated these last days a volte-face.
Admitting that the situation would “get worse”, he began to advocate the wearing of the mask, a gesture of “patriotic” according to him.
Glimmer of hope
The United States, the country with the most grief-stricken in the world with over 144 000 people dead. And the country has reached Thursday four million cases, with a million of positive tests in fifteen days.
But, if one takes the official number of new cases detected, several States have halted the exponential increase that was observed in June, such as Arkansas, Iowa, North Carolina and the South.
Arizona gives hope. The number of new cases detected in the neighbouring State of California has certainly reached the 20 000 in seven days, but it was 11% less than the previous week and hospital admissions are significantly down.
“Things are improving”, testified Thursday Matthew Heinz, a doctor in a hospital in Tucson, who credits the port mask, including a republican governor for a long time refractory. “A lot of people wear masks over a month ago,” he said to the AFP.
On the whole of the country, the epidemic is far from contained. But the number of new cases has increased from 7 % in a week, less than the +20 % recorded in the previous weeks. The country has identified more than 60,000 new cases on a daily basis for nine days.
The epidemic models predict, on average, a peak nationwide in the next four weeks, according to Nicholas Reich of the university of Massachusetts.
It warns that we cannot be certain of having reached a turning point, because in places like Texas and Florida, the results of the tests take days to be released, which blurs the real-time monitoring of the epidemic.
The stabilization is probably due in part to the congestion of tests,” said Nicholas Reich at the AFP.
William Schaffner, professor at Vanderbilt university, prefers to remain pessimistic for now. “The circumstances remain very, very fragile,” he told AFP. “A lot of people continue to ignore the distancing and physical masks”.
The scientific consensus is that the wave of death follows three or four weeks the infections. The curve of the case is to rise again in mid-June, and that of the dead goes up moderately since early July with no sign of slowing down, reaching in the last two days about a thousand dead.
It is difficult to predict how far the dead will rise, because the mortality is not so strong as at the beginning of the pandemic, when doctors discovered a whole new disease. Today, two drugs have proven their effectiveness, the hospitals use the ventilators in more subtle ways, and patients are younger.
“But just as in April, stabilize is not enough : the goal is to remove, not just mitigate”, told AFP Thomas Tsai, a physician and researcher at Harvard.
He is concerned to see other regions take up the slack, as the Missouri. The Mississippi river and Puerto Rico are also in full blast.
The error of the United States was to burn the stages of the déconfinement in may, and have reopened too soon, too fast, before the curve of the contagion is completely down as in Europe.
If a turning point was really reached this summer, Thomas Tsai insists on the fact that the country will have to have the patience to continue the distancing of physical, wearing a mask, and a proactive policy of testing.