“Frankly, they are miraculous,” said Donald Trump of the treatment he received for COVID-19 last Saturday, the day 740 people died from the coronavirus in the United States.
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At the start of the pandemic, the US president said the virus would go away on its own. He then tried to overcome the crisis with billions of dollars: first by ordering the manufacture of 100,000 artificial respirators. Then, when the deaths continued, by subsidizing the developers of treatments and vaccines. And after trying to limit the number of tests, his government belatedly decided to distribute them massively.
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But the miracle did not happen: doctors ultimately prefer to avoid respirators, treatments only save some of the sick, vaccines will not be ready on a large scale before 2021, and tests are not a panacea, as the outbreak of a White House outbreak demonstrated.
His own contamination, and the fact that 30,000 people are currently hospitalized in the country, are disastrous proof of the health gaps in federal health policy.
All this is not new: Public health experts have been saying for months that in order to prevent the coronavirus from entering people’s noses or throats, simple and inexpensive measures are among the most effective: the mask and physical distancing .
But the 70-year-old leader, after saying he “understood” COVID-19, triumphantly declared, “Don’t be afraid of COVID,” and claimed the virus was less dangerous than the flu, which is false.
“This is probably the most dangerous thing he has ever said about COVID,” said researcher Jeremy Konyndyk in dismay.
“He could have taken the opportunity to set an example for the country,” Ali Nouri, president of the Federation of American Scientists, told AFP, regretting the “wrong message” sent to the Americans.
Epidemiologists have been strangling since Monday. “His words are going to kill even more,” tweeted Harvard’s Michael Mina.
“The next few months will determine if we will have 270,000 Americans dead by the end of the year, or 400,000 … The president has just said to the Americans: okay for 400,000,” lamented Peter Hotez, professor. at Baylor College, on CNN.
It is ultimately Donald Trump’s very selective respect for science that most shocks the scientific community.
Multiple incidents have punctuated the pandemic: the pressure on the Centers for the Fight against Diseases to water down health instructions and censor studies on the dangerousness of the virus, those on the Medicines Agency to lighten the authorization criteria for a future vaccine, possibly before the November 3 election.
“The same reasoning and process that was used to generate the antibodies (given to Mr. Trump) were used to develop the guidelines telling everyone to be very careful. He retains a part of the science that pleases him, and rejects the other principles, “Holden Thorp, editor-in-chief of the science group journals, which has published around 100 studies on COVID-19 since, told AFP February.
Holden Thorp particularly blames Mr. Trump for his lack of compassion for the 210,000 Americans who have died from the virus, and for all the hospital workers who have been fighting since February.
“He finally thanked the medical staff when they started treating him. It shows his narcissism, ”Holden Thorp says.
A final decision completed the dismay of the experts, the one reported by American media to have given up on tracing the contact cases of a reception at the White House in honor of Judge Amy Coney Barrett on September 26, including many participants have tested positive in recent days.
In total, according to Politico, around 30 people around the commander-in-chief have been infected to date.