As of date, the USA has 1.21 million Covid-19 cases, the most in the world. This is about 800,000 more than the next highest number of cases in a country, Spain, which has 219,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases.1 Although this may seem odd to many, as the disease started in the world’s most populous country China, there are many reasons as to why the USA has the most confirmed cases of Covid-19.
As Jennifer Nuzzo from the New York Times remarks, “Had we done testing earlier, we would be in a far different place.”3 While reported cases in the USA started on the 5th of March, Covid-19 reached the Americans before this, but was not detected. This is due to the lack of testing in the US until recently, since about the 20th of April, when US testing reached the level of other countries with high Covid-19 numbers. If testing in the USA on this scale was started earlier, Covid-19 cases would have been detected, and so quarantine and social distancing measures could have been put into place before the drastic deterioration of events. All of this would have resulted in fewer Covid-19 cases, and therefore fewer deaths.
There is also a problem in the USA, more so than in other countries, where in big cities like New York, employers are forcing their workers to continue working.4 However, this goes against all scientific theories of the virus, as when one of those workers contracts the virus, he/she infects around 14-20 other people, which is a huge infection rate. This is partially why the US Covid-19 curve has fluctuated between the same levels, as some people still go to work and so infect others with the virus, or else contract the virus themselves. On top of this, many in the USA are not abiding by social distancing rules when outside their own homes. This renders the government’s implementation as being worthless, as without abiding by these rules, the chance of infection is highly probable. The virus is transferred mainly onto others by air droplets, whereby the virus can likely only travel a maximum of 2 metres. This is why social distancing is so important and it is catastrophic that it is not being followed in the USA.
Incorrect Scientific Advice
The American public has also been misinformed on how to protect themselves from Covid-19, which has added to the number of cases in the country. For example, they were told on the 4th of April to wear masks to protect themselves, even though the overwhelming research shows that wearing masks has barely any effect on the chances of a person contracting the virus. Because of this misinformation, some people in the USA are venturing outside, believing that the masks will protect them from the virus, which is wholly false. On top of this, on the 23rd of April, President Trump suggested that “injecting disinfectant”5 could remove the virus from the body, which it cannot. Although disinfectant kills the virus on surfaces, when injected into the body, it harms body cells as it is a very strong alkaline in some cases, which has led to deaths in the USA.
Overall, although testing in the USA has been greatly increased, the incorrect scientific advice and people rebelling against the quarantine measures in the USA, seems set to continue, which means that the USA has not reached its peak in day-to-day cases yet. Until a vaccine is produced, which can protect those without the virus, cases in the USA look set to rise well into the future.
- Worldometers.info. 2020. Coronavirus Update (Live): 3,295,880 Cases And 233,411 Deaths From COVID-19 Virus Pandemic – Worldometer. [online] Available at: <https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries> [Accessed 30 April 2020].
- Worldometers.info. 2020. United States Coronavirus: 1,088,415 Cases And 63,535 Deaths – Worldometer. [online] Available at: <https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/> [Accessed 30 April 2020].
- Shear, M., 2020. The Lost Month: How A Failure To Test Blinded The US To COVID-19. [online] The Economic Times. Available at: <https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international/world-news/the-lost-month-how-a-failure-to-test-blinded-the-us-to-covid-19/articleshow/74876897.cms?from=mdr> [Accessed 30 April 2020].
- Cummins, E., 2020. “I’Ll Do What I Want”: Why The People Ignoring Social Distancing Orders Just Won’T Listen. [online] Vox. Available at: <https://www.vox.com/the-highlight/2020/3/24/21191184/coronavirus-social-distancing-pandemic-spring-break-keep-calm-carry-on> [Accessed 30 April 2020].
- BBC News. 2020. Trump ‘Can’t Imagine Why’ Disinfectant Calls Spiked. [online] Available at: <https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-52450692> [Accessed 30 April 2020].
- Featured Image– Al Jazeera, 2020. Six-week-old dies as US coronavirus death toll crosses 5,000. [online] Available at: <https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/04/week-dies-coronavirus-death-toll-crosses-5000-200402064226778.html> [Accessed 6 May 2020].