Though much of the nation has started to lift strict social distancing requirements and looks towards what the future holds, President Trump mourned the tragic losses the nation has suffered during the coronavirus crisis.
“This is really the worst attack we’ve ever had,” Trump said on Wednesday. “This is worse than Pearl Harbor. This is worse than the World Trade Center. There’s never been an attack like this.”
The invisible enemy
As coronavirus makes its way through the nation, it has taken the lives of more than 70,000 Americans and sickened over a million more. “In many ways, it’s a tougher enemy” than the ones faced at Pearl Harbor or 9/11, Trump said. “You know we do very well against the visible enemies.”
Indeed, even in an age of unprecedented technological and medical innovation, doctors have struggled to get a handle on the wide array of challenges presented by COVID-19.
The coronavirus death toll now also adds up to more than all of the casualties caused by the Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq wars combined.
Trump made the statement during a meeting with a group of frontline nurses and nurse leaders at the White House on Wednesday, in which he honored them for their service in the battle against the virus.
“America’s nurses are waging a war against the invisible enemy,” Trump declared. “They’re fighting on the frontlines of the battle risking their health to save lives of fellow citizens.”
It’s not over yet
Dozens of states have begun to take steps to allow Americans to begin returning to normal, but the crisis is not over yet. The Blaze reported on Wednesday that according to data from Johns Hopkins University, “More than a third (20) of the states — plus Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico — still had a growing number of cases over the last week.”
However, it’s not all doom and gloom, as Axios noted that rising cases doesn’t necessarily mean that the crisis is intensifying, but that health officials are simply catching more cases due to expanded testing.
Fortunately, the ultimate goal of the nearly nationwide lockdown — slowing the spread of the virus to ensure adequate hospital capacity for incoming patients — has been achieved in large part.
New York City, which has seen the highest concentration of COVID-19 cases in the nation, barely needed the help of Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort which was sent to serve the city in late March. The ship left NYC on Thursday after caring for only 182 patients.
Though positive signs have emerged in recent days, health experts have cautioned that pulling back on restrictions too soon could wreak havoc on the tenuous progress made thus far. Most recently, experts at the Department of Health and Human Services warned that daily death toll could rise to 3,000 per day starting on June 1 if social distancing measures are not taken seriously.