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Roughly three weeks after the United States first started feeling the strongest effects of the then-nascent COVID-19 pandemic, many Americans have begun to accept that lockdowns, social distancing, and self-isolation will be the way of life for many more weeks, if not months. Despite people becoming accustomed to the pandemic, news about it continues to unfurl at a rapid clip. Here are the latest COVID-19 updates you should know.
Hundreds of thousands could die
According to models shared at a press conference yesterday, senior members of President Trump’s emergency task force claimed that between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans could die from COVID-19 over just the next several weeks. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the National Institutes of Health immunologist who has become the face of the American COVID-19 response, noted that social distancing and self-isolation have shown early success in limiting the virus’s spread and called for these practices to remain intact for at least 30 days.
Americans are mixed about Trump’s COVID-19 response
Although Trump experienced a modest approval ratings boost in the early stages of the pandemic, a recent survey determined that 47 percent of voters are dissatisfied with the Trump administration’s response to the pandemic. The same poll showed that 40 percent of voters think the administration is doing the right amount. Trump’s overall approval rate stands at 45 percent and his disapproval rate at 52 percent.
Russia is sending medical equipment
President Trump’s detractors have long alleged that Russian interference helped him to win the 2016 election. Trump’s relationship with Russian president Vladimir Putin has been up and down throughout his term, but now, the two countries are working together to combat COVID-19. Putin has sent a plane full of medical gear to the U.S., partially in hopes that Trump will do the same if Russia’s coronavirus outbreak gets more severe.
COVID-19 stockpiling behavior may be declining
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s been nearly impossible to not hear about department and grocery store shelves completely depleted of toilet paper, disinfectant wipes, and other household necessities. Recent traffic data shows that the early rush of consumer visits to department and big-box stores has slowed, potentially leading to replenished supplies and normal consumption behaviors and patterns.
Chinese cases are down, but Japanese cases are rising
In China, where COVID-19 was first detected in December 2019, new coronavirus cases have steadily declined as the country’s intense preventative measures have proven to work. Yesterday, China reported only 36 new cases of the virus, all but one of which were in people who traveled to China from other countries. The day prior, China reported 48 new cases.
Japan, on the other hand, may soon experience a severe COVID-19 outbreak. Some experts have pointed to the nation as an example of how to handle COVID-19, as during the same period in which the U.S. saw 66 newly confirmed cases balloon to 14,000 new cases, Japan’s new case count grew from 55 to just 98. Despite the early optimism, COVID-19 is now beginning to proliferate in Japan, where government officials may soon declare a state of emergency. In the U.S., a state of emergency was declared on March 13.
What COVID-19 news has caught your attention the most in recent days? Feel free to share what you’ve seen in the comments.