Disease model suggests United States lockdown delay caused at least 36,000 deaths

Grant Boone
May 22, 2020

Trump has continued to praise his own decision on closing travel from China as the most important one in combating coronavirus, saying that move "saved a lot of lives".

A researcher not involved with the study, Lauren Ancel Meyers an epidemiologist at the University of Texas at Austin, said, "This implies that if interventions had occurred two weeks earlier, many Covid-19 deaths and cases would have been prevented by early May, not just in New York City but throughout the USA".

The lives of about 36,000 people could have been saved if the U.S. had begun imposing social distancing measures just a week earlier than it did in March to control the spread of the coronavirus, new estimates from Columbia University show.

MI is the state with the fourth-highest number of coronavirus-related deaths - more than 5,000 - according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The country, which is the worst hit by the pandemic with 1.6 million cases and 95,000 deaths, went into a national emergency over the health crisis on March 13.

The study estimated that approximately 209,987 confirmed cases and 17,514 deaths would have been avoided if the aforementioned measures were taken within the NY metropolitan area, which later became the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States.

At least 36,000 people who died from COVID-19 complications in the United States could have been saved if the country imposed a lockdown one week earlier, according to new data. Although New York City schools shut on 15 March, it was another week before a total lockdown was introduced. Gov. Andrew Cuomo's stay-at-home order didn't take effect until March 22.

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The US timeline: The first US case was reported on the finish of January. "I wish we had the testing that would have told us what was going on", de Blasio said to a Politico reporter on Thursday.

Mr Trump has clashed with Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer on several occasions in the past, calling the state's lockdown measures "too tough" in April and writing "LIBERATE MICHIGAN" in a tweet alongside two other states.

"Our findings underscore the importance of early intervention and aggressive response in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic", wrote the researchers.

If they began on March 1, the figure jumps to 54,000.

And, with restrictions being eased across New York State and portions of the country, the same researchers warn that "rapid response remains essential to avoid large-scale resurgences of infections and deaths in locations with reopening plans".

While noting that these estimates are merely approximations, and it is impossible to know for certain the exact amount of people who would have died, they said, "efforts to further raise public awareness of the ongoing high transmissibility and explosive growth potential of COVID-19 are still needed at this critical time".

In the absence of a coronavirus vaccine, experts have said the safest way to reopen the country is to establish a nationwide testing and contact-tracing system to identify COVID-19 cases and properly quarantine the sick.

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