The United States is entering what a senior official warned on Sunday would be the “hardest” week of the coronavirus crisis as the death toll mounted, but some saw glimmers of hope from a slight slowing of fatalities in hard-hit New York.
The US surgeon general warned the country on Sunday that it will face a “Pearl Harbor moment” in the next week, with an unprecedented numbers of coronavirus deaths expected coast to coast.
“The next week is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment. It’s going to be our 9/11 moment,” Jerome Adams told NBC News’ Meet the Press.
“It’s going to be the hardest moment for many Americans in their entire lives, and we really need to understand that if we want to flatten that curve and get through to the other side, everyone needs to do their part.”
Adams’s thoughts were echoed by Dr Anthony Fauci, the country’s foremost infectious diseases expert, in a White House briefing on Sunday. “This is probably going to be a very bad week,” Fauci said.
Donald Trump echoed similar language from the White House briefing room on Sunday, saying that the coming week would be difficult. The president said, however, there’s “a light at the end of the tunnel”.
“We are feeling confident in the days ahead America will endure the peak of this terrible pandemic,” he said. “Our warriors in this life and death battle are the incredible doctors and nurses and health care workers on the frontline of the fight.”
In Sunday’s press conference, Trump also repeatedly encouraged Americans to try hydroxychloroquine to treat coronavirus, despite a lack of scientific evidence to support the use of the anti-malaria drug as a possible remedy for Covid-19. Trump said his administration has ordered 29m doses to be distributed across the United States, and later on prevented Fauci from answering a question on the efficacy of the treatment from the White House podium.