As America braces for the worst week of the coronavirus crisis yet, experts say there is one bit of good news.
A projection on the pandemic shows the estmated number of overall deaths in the US has declined since last week.
The University of Washington model, one of several cited by U.S. and some state officials, now projects U.S. deaths at 81,766 by Aug. 4, down about 12,000 from a projection over the weekend.
The model, which is frequently updated with new data, projects the peak need for hospital beds on April 15 and for daily deaths at 3,130 on April 16.
Navarro defends anti-malaria drug after argument with Fauci
Peter Navarro, Trump’s top trade adviser who has been tapped to oversee the administration’s implementation of the Defense Production Act amid the coronavirus crisis, got into a heated exchange over using an anti-malaria drug to fight the virus.
Navarro told CNN host John Berman that studies prove hydroxychloroquine can help coronavirus patients recover, even though experts say the evidence of the drug’s efficacy is anecdotal.
Reports emerged last night that Navarro got into a fight with Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, in the Situation Room on Saturday over using the drug.
Navarro acknowledged the fight in his CNN interview and said he told Fauci in response to his concerns about the anecdotal nature of the evidence, “I would have two words for you ‘second opinion.’”
The trade adviser also dubiously claimed his PhD in economics qualified him to have such medical debates with health experts like Fauci.
“Doctors disagree about things all the time,” Navarro told Berman. “My qualifications in terms of looking at the science is that I’m a social scientist. I have a PhD, and I understand how to read statistical studies.”
Trump defended the decision to allow cruise ships carrying passengers who have coronavirus to dock in Florida.
“For humanitarian reasons, the passengers from the two CoronaVirus stricken cruise ships have been given medical treatment and, when appropriate, allowed to disembark, under strict supervision,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Very carefully done. People we’re dying & no other countries would allow them to dock!”
The Coral Princess docked in Miami Saturday, a day after the Zandaam and its sister ship Rotterdam were allowed to unload passengers in Fort Lauderdale.
The question of whether to allow the ships to dock in Florida sparekd controversy, with Floriday governor Ron DeSantis saying he didn’t want sick passengers “dumped” in his state.
The Coral Princess was refused permission to dock in Fort Lauderdale Friday, and one of the ship’s two coronavirus deaths allegedly came as the coast guard refused to allow the ship to dock.
Trump expresses optimism as US faces hardest week yet
Good morning, live blog readers!
Donald Trump was expressing optimism over Twitter this morning, telling his followers that there is a “light at the end of the tunnel” as the country stares down the worst week yet in the coronavirus crisis.
The country is approaching 10,000 deaths in the pandemic, and more than 337,000 cases have already been confirmed.
Senior health experts in the administration warned the numbers would continue to climb in the next several days, with Dr Anthony Fauci saying yesterday that this is probably going to be “a very bad week”.
“The next week is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment. It’s going to be our 9/11 moment,” surgeon general Jerome Adams told NBC News’ Meet the Press yesterday.
“It’s going to be the hardest moment for many Americans in their entire lives, and we really need to understand that if we want to flatten that curve and get through to the other side, everyone needs to do their part.”
So “the light at the end of the tunnel” that the president referred to still seems to be well off in the distance.