The number of cases of coronavirus in the United States continues to climb.
The reason? It’s partly because the disease is spreading more, but also partly because more tests are becoming available, allowing people who contracted the disease but didn’t know one way or the other days ago to finally find out.
As of Thursday morning, the total number of cases surpassed 10,000 individuals in the U.S., CNBC reported.
That number is likely to be much higher, however, because, while testing is expanding, it’s still highly limited, with restrictions across the country in place in order to deal with the current shortage.
— NBC News (@NBCNews) March 19, 2020
Much of the blame for the shortage has gone to the Trump administration, particularly because the first known case of coronavirus in the country was identified in late January. Two months on, the number of test kits remains horrifyingly low.
President Donald Trump has also been criticized for his rosy outlook on the his initial response to the disease, with many believing he didn’t take the threat as seriously as he should have from the get-go.
Just 22 days ago, for example, when Trump said only 15 people were infected with COVID-19, he also said that number would diminish significantly.
“The 15, within a couple of days, is going to be down to close to zero,” Trump said. “That’s a pretty good job we’ve done.”
He made similar statements on February 28. “It’s going to disappear. One day, it’s like a miracle, it will disappear,” the president said.
And as time went by, with criticisms to his response coming about (due to his comments contradicting his own health experts’ warnings), Trump lashed out, claiming that such criticisms were political in nature.
As recently as March 9, Trump claimed Democrats and “the Fake News Media” were “doing everything within its semi-considerable power…to inflame the CoronaVirus situation.”
Trump’s tone has shifted over the past week, as it became apparent Americans would have to make changes to their lives, being laid off in many instances and staying indoors as much as possible to contain the spread. The federal government plans to increase efforts to promote social distancing in the days ahead.
Chris Walker is a freelance journalist based in Madison, Wisconsin, who focuses on news, politics, and analysis of world events. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, since 2005 Chris has reported on workers’ rights protests in Wisconsin, opined on four separate presidential elections and written on a number of other political subjects for a variety of national online publications.