The Corona Crucible – Wed 22nd July

World 15 million       USA 4 million

New York 430K+      California 400K+      Florida 370K+                        Texas 350K+

As from tomorrow hospitals in the US will start reporting their COVID-19 statistics direct to Washington instead of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Trump administration has ordered hospitals to bypass the CDC. Mad Old PR Nut is planning to resume his daily press briefings where he can keep saying how incredibly well the US is doing. He wants to be re-elected in November and has back flipped once again and is now advocating that Americans wear masks.

It remains to be seen if the daily coronavirus figures are altered to provide a better picture than the reality of what is happening across the US. Over the past few weeks case numbers have been soaring, between 63,000 and 75,000 each day, so we’ll see how the numbers look over the coming weeks. If they suddenly drop, we’ll know there has been political interference.

A colleague of Neil’s who lives in the US has painted a bleak picture of the situation there. In March his employer decided that all employees had to use their vacation leave (only two weeks annually in the US) for any non-billable hours. He decided to seek other employment and was fortunate to find a better position. He has a family member who works in a hospital who he constantly worries about. Many hospitals can no longer cope with the huge numbers of sick people, who lie on trolleys in corridors. He says that the situation in many states in the US is a ‘complete mess’.

ABC Journalist Kathryn Diss recently described her personal experiences after contracting COVID-19 in the US. She describes the health response as ‘chaotic’. Her test results were mixed up with another person and then there was a delay in getting her real results. There was zero follow up for contact tracing.

Here in Victoria we recorded 484 new cases in the last 24 hours, the highest daily total to date. Daniel Andrews announced that 9/10 people with COVID-19 symptoms are not getting tested quickly enough and 5/10 people are not isolating as soon as they are tested. The latter is probably being driven by casual workers who are insecure about their employment. A $1500 payment is available from the State Government for those workers who have no sick leave.