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Day 106: Now What?

USA

“Some of you may die, but it’s a sacrifice I am willing to make”

Lord Farquaad

  • What now?
  • Trump said his administration will urge the Supreme Court to overturn Obamacare, maintaining its all-out legal assault on the health care law amid a pandemic that will drive millions of more Americans to depend on its coverage
  • Scientists identified a new strain of the coronavirus that appears to be more contagious than the versions that spread in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. The new strain appeared in February in Europe, migrated to the East Coast of the U.S., and has been the dominant strain across the world since mid-March. The new strain may also make people vulnerable to a second infection after a first bout with the disease
  • Yesterday, Mike Pence said the White House is in “preliminary discussions” to wind down the coronavirus task force, because “of the tremendous progress we’ve made as a country
  • Yet today, Trump contradicted his plan to shut down the coronavirus task force, vowing that the group would “continue on indefinitely” because of “how popular the task force is.
  • Jared Kushner’s coronavirus team relied on inexperienced volunteers from consulting and private equity firms with little expertise in the jobs they were assigned
  • Trump promised to resume the White House coronavirus briefings, saying “everybody” enjoyed them — including himself. Trump, who ended the daily briefings last week, said “we’ll probably do maybe one a week, sometimes two depending on the news” as he pivots to reopening the economy. Trump added that he enjoys sparring with reporters, but “I was told that some people didn’t like the combative attitude so much.” Trump then congratulated himself, saying: “We set every record with those press conferences. Six million people all the time. You know we had tremendous numbers, literally […] I heard, is this true? It was the highest-rated hour in cable television history. That’s what I heard. I don’t know if that’s true”
  • Trump said “it’s possible there will be some” deaths as states roll back restrictions aimed at stopping the spread of the coronavirus, acknowledging that it was the choice the country faces to reopen and “jumpstart” the economy. When asked what he would say to Americans who have lost a loved one to the coronavirus, Trump replied: “I love you”
  • Experts warn that Trump’s push to reopen the country risks a “death sentence” for many Americans. Trump has praised governors of states that have started to loosen restrictions on social distancing and business activity, even though he admitted that people will suffer as a result. “Will some people be affected badly? Yes,” Trump said on Tuesday. “But we have to get our country open, and we have to get it open soon.”
  • On the same day Trump praised himself for solving “every problem” and taking care of “all of the things,” members of his own administration privately warned that states were still experiencing shortages of masks, gowns, and other medical gear. A May 1 recording of an interagency conference call between FEMA and HHS officials began with the director of the CDC’s influenza division saying: “The numbers of deaths definitely will be high.” Other officials discussed their ongoing struggle to keep up with requests from governors for more medical equipment and PPE. Meanwhile, Trump was telling the public that the federal government had “loaded up hospitals with things to take care of people” and “We’ve ensured a ventilator for every patient who needs one. The testing and the masks and all of the things, we’ve solved every problem. We solved it quickly
  • The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: “We don’t know” where the coronavirus began, but “the weight of evidence is that it was natural and not man-made” and “that it was probably not intentional[ly]” released from a Chinese lab. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, however, insisted that “there is significant evidence that this came from the laboratory,” but conceded that “We don’t have certainty […] We’re all trying to figure out the right answer.” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. intelligence community, and the “Five Eyes” international intelligence alliance have all said that the coronavirus “was not manmade or genetically modified,” suggesting that it “evolved in nature,” and likely originated in a Chinese wet market as a result of “natural human and animal interaction”

Today’s projection data:
Total projected cases in the US: 1,263,455
Total projected deaths in the US: 71,920

Today’s actual data:
Total cases in the US: 1,263,183
Total deaths in the US: 74,807

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