America faces the “darkest winter in modern history” unless leaders act purposefully to prevent the rebound of COVID-19, says the US immunologist Dr. Rick Bright. He was ousted from his job after warning the Trump administration to prepare for the pandemic. More than 84,000 people have died in the USA, which represents one-fourth of global death.
America Faces The “Darkest Winter In Modern History”
It is the world’s highest death toll. But, to restart the US economy, Trump has been urging states to lift restrictions. Dr. Rick Bright made his prediction in a testimony prepared for his appearance on Thursday (May, 14) before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. He has been removed from his post as head of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority after sounding against the Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Bright said that he became a target of criticism when he persuaded his efforts to invest in vaccine development and stock up on supplies.
Bright’s opinion and Dr. Anthony’s warning
Bright also said that the window of opportunity is going to close, in his prepared testimony posted on the House committee website.
“If we fail to develop a nationally coordinated response, based in science, I fear the pandemic will get far worse and be prolonged, causing unprecedented illness and fatalities.” This week’s testimony by Bright follows the warning by Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert.
Dr. Anthony warned that a rushed lifting of store-closing and stay-at-home restrictions could “turn back the clock,” seeding more suffering and death and complicating efforts to get the economy rolling again. On Thursday, President Donald Trump tweeted about Bright as “a disgruntled employee, not liked or respected by people I spoke to and who, with his attitude, should no longer be working for our government!”
Bright sounding against Trump’s politicization
“Without clear planning and implementation of the steps that I and other experts have outlined, 2020 will be the darkest winter in modern history,” Bright wrote. Bright, who has a doctoral degree in immunology, outlined a path forward that would be based on science, even as researchers work to develop better treatments and an effective vaccine. The steps include: Establishing a national testing strategy. The White House has urged states to take the lead on testing, even as the federal government pushes to make more tests and better ones widely available. Trump says the U.S. has “prevailed” on testing through this strategy.
Bright warned lawmakers in his testimony before the health subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee that the US needs to take “simple but critical steps” to control the coronavirus pandemic and head off a disastrous second wave of infections this winter. He also told the committee in his opening statement that he believes a Covid-19 vaccine is a question of when, not if, but cautioned that “12 to 18 months is an aggressive schedule and I think it will take longer than that to manufacture a vaccine”.
Bright claimed that the administration is making potentially harmful drugs widely available including Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine. These are anti-malarial drugs and has been repeatedly used for treating COVID-19. Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine have not been gone through any clinical trials before using against COVID-19.
Science must lead the way to combat this deadly virus
The US president, Donald Trump has publically opinioned about the benefits of injecting disinfectants into patients. This statement has condemned as dangerous by public health officials and bleach manufacturers. In Bright’s testimony to Congress, He wrote that “science, not politics or cronyism, must lead the way to combat this deadly virus”.
Coronavirus has infected more than 1.3 million people to make the US the world’s most serious coronavirus hotspot. Businesses shut down to cure of this pandemic and this made 36 million unemployed people in the past two months.
Experts opinioned that this death toll may be much lower when the Trump administration acted intelligently and scientifically during this crisis. On Thursday a group of protestors gathered outside the state capitol building in Lansing, Michigan, demanding the end of stay-at-home orders and calling for the resignation of the governor. Such protests firstly broke out in Michigan and then spread to other states in recent weeks.
Despite, opinion polls show that a majority of Americans do not support widespread reopening for business while the pandemic is still raging. The protests were coordinated and also backed by various rightwing groups.