Wuhan Virus Watch: Biden Hits Trump’s Response to Potential Pandemic as ‘Fearmongering’ and ‘Xenophopic’
Some experts believe coronavirus “is now likely to become a pandemic that circles the globe.”
As of Monday morning, the world has 17,205 cases of the Wuhan coronavirus in various countries with 361 deaths.
Eleven of those cases, including three new ones, are in the U.S.
***We will update this post with new information
Eleven of the Coronavirus Cases Located in America
Three more cases of the Wuhan coronavirus have been reported in California, bringing the state’s total to six and the country’s total to 11 cases.
Late Sunday, officials confirmed a San Benito County man who had recently traveled back from Wuhan, China, and his wife have the virus. Both were isolating themselves in their home.
The man arrived at San Francisco International Airport on January 24 and was screened and found to be healthy and asymptomatic, said Dr. Martin Fenstersheib, the county’s interim health officer.
The next day, the man developed symptoms including a cough and low-grade fever, Fenstersheib said. A few days later, his wife began showing symptoms as well.
The couple has stayed at home since the man’s arrival, Fenstersheib said.
Biden Hits Trump’s Response on Coronavirus
As the outbreak has come just as the primaries and caucuses are about to start, it is not surprising that one of the candidates is complaining about President Donald Trump’s administration and its response to the continuing outbreak. Former Vice President Joe Biden hit Trump, intimating that racism was a potential factor in the response.
“We have, right now, a crisis with the coronavirus,” Biden said in Iowa Friday. “This is no time for Donald Trump’s record of hysteria and xenophobia – hysterical xenophobia – and fearmongering to lead the way instead of science.”
The former vice president accused the president of curtailing progress on global health oversight that was made during the Obama administration.
…The Trump campaign fired back at Biden’s comments, telling Reuters the president “is listening to medical and scientific experts and taking every responsible precaution to protect the American people.”
First Death Outside of China
A man died in the Philippines:
Philippines health officials announced Sunday that a 44-year-old Chinese man had died the day before from coronavirus after flying into the country from Wuhan, the Chinese city of 11 million at the center of the outbreak.
There are more than 14,300 confirmed cases around the world, and 305 people have died. All but one of the deaths have been in mainland China.
Within China, almost 60 million people remain on effective lockdown as the country battles to contain the virus amid reports its health system is on its knees, running out of beds and supplies.
Pentagon Approves Military Base for Quarantine
The Department of Health and Human Services received approval to use military facilities to quarantine people:
Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Saturday approved a request from the Department of Health and Human Services for the possible use of military facilities to accommodate 1,000 people who may have to be quarantined upon arrival from overseas due to a new virus.
A Defense Department statement said HHS officials requested the use of several facilities capable of housing at least 250 people in individual rooms through Feb. 29. HHS would be responsible for all care, transportation and security of the evacuees, according to the statement.
The viral outbreak began in China, where the death toll rose to 259 on Saturday. More than 11,900 people have been infected with the coronavirus globally, the vast majority of them on the Chinese mainland.
The installations selected by the Defense Department are the 168th Regiment, Regional Training Institute, Fort Carson, Colorado; Travis Air Force Base, California; Lackland Air Force Base, Texas; Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California.
Nearly 200 Americans already are quarantined at a military base in Southern California after being evacuated from Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province.
None of the Americans being housed at the March Air Reserve Base in Riverside has shown signs of illness, but it can take up to two weeks for someone who is infected to get sick.
Experts: Coronavirus ‘Likely to Become a Pandemic’
Some experts believe coronavirus “is now likely to become a pandemic that circles the globe.” From The New York Times:
The Wuhan coronavirus is spreading more like influenza, which is highly transmissible, than like its slow-moving viral cousins, SARS and MERS, scientists have found.
“It’s very, very transmissible, and it almost certainly is going to be a pandemic,” said Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease.
“But will it be catastrophic? I don’t know.”
In the last three weeks, the number of lab-confirmed cases has soared from about 50 in China to more than 17,000 in at least 23 countries; there have been more than 360 deaths.
But various epidemiological models estimate that the real number of cases is 100,000 or even more. While that expansion is not as rapid as that of flu or measles, it is an enormous leap beyond what virologists saw when SARS and MERS emerged.
When SARS was vanquished in July 2003 after spreading for nine months, only 8,098 cases had been confirmed. MERS has been circulating since 2012, but there have been only about 2,500 known cases.
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