More than 800,000 doctors across the United States sent a letter to President Donald Trump, urging him to reinforce social distancing after he suggested the economy could reopen by Easter.
They claim opening the economy by Easter could ‘gravely jeopardize the health of all Americans.’
The Council of Medicinal Speciality Societies addressed the letter to Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and White House Coronavirus Task Force Ambassador Deborah Birx on Friday.
In the letter, they said medical staff is risking their lives to treat coronavirus patients and ask that the Trump administration support ‘science-based recommendations’ on social distancing.
More than 800,000 physicians across the United States sent a letter to The White House, asking that they use scientific data in discussions about reopening the country
They wrote: ‘Significant COVID-19 transmission continues across the United States, and we need your leadership in supporting science-based recommendations on social distancing that can slow the virus.
‘Statewide efforts alone will not sufficiently control this public health crisis.
‘A strong nationwide plan that supports and enforces social distancing—and recognizes that our health and our economy are inextricably linked—should remain in place until public health and medical experts indicate it can be lifted.’
Trump previously said in a press conference that he’d love to see the U.S. economy and businesses reopen by April 12.
He’s since eased his stance slightly after Dr. Anthony Fuaci pushed back against the premature deadline, but has not officially backed down.
President Trump (pictured) mentioned earlier this month that the American economy could reopen by Easter – despite pushback from health officials
The letter also said that reopening the economy could severely jeopardize Americans.
They wrote: ‘Federal, state, and local governments should only set a date for lifting nationwide social distancing restrictions consistent with assessments by public health and medical experts.
‘Lifting restrictions sooner will gravely jeopardize the health of all Americans and extend the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic.’
More than 40 national medical organizations signed the letter, including the Society of Hospital Medicine and the American Geriatrics Society.
Medical staff have reported that hospitals resemble a ‘war zone’ after the coronavirus pandemic swarmed hospitals with patients and diminished medical supplies
The White House has yet to respond to the letter.
As of Saturday, the United States has recorded more than 100,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 1,700 deaths.
In New York City, the death toll is now 450 and there are 26,697 confirmed cases.
There are more than 100,000 cases of coronavirus in the United States
Across the city, medical emergency calls were up 40 percent to about 6,500 a day, shattering historical records and leading to up to 170 callers being put on hold at a time, according to EMS union officials.
FDNY officials are strongly urging New Yorkers to call 911 only if they are having urgent emergencies, such as heart troubles or problems breathing.
‘Please allow first responders to assist those most in need. Only call 911 if you need help right away,’ the department said in a statement.
On both Thursday and Friday, another 85 people died of the virus here, or an average of one New Yorker every 17 minutes.
Recent reports found that the country has amassed the largest numbers of infections in the world, surpassing both China and Italy.
Despite the grim figures, Trump claimed that data being released by China – which has claimed zero new domestic infections in recent days – could not be trusted and that higher rates of testing in the US was behind the surge in cases.
Coronavirus cases in the United States have topped 100,000 and placed the country first in infection cases
Compared to Italy, the United States as out-paced them in infection cases as of March 26
He also accused Andrew Cuomo – the governor of hardest-hit New York – of exaggerating the state’s need for ventilators, a key piece of equipment used to keep coronavirus patients in critical condition alive.
Meanwhile, Dr Anthony Fauci, America’s top disease expert, was forced to again pour cold water on Trump’s repeated suggestion that the US could be back open for business by April 12.
‘I think what the President was trying to do, he was making an aspirational projection to give people some hope,’ Facui – who was briefly banished from coronavirus press briefings after contradicting Trump – told CNN.
‘But he’s listening to us when we say that we’ve really got to reevaluate it in real time, and any decision we make has to be based on the data.’
Dr. Anthony Fauci (pictured) said Trump’s Easter deadline may have been a ‘aspirational projection’ to give anxious citizens hope
Trump previously called his Easter deadline a ‘beautiful time.’
‘I thought it was a beautiful time. A beautiful timeline,’ he said at his daily White House briefing on the coronavirus outbreak.
It wasn’t revealed what data the Trump administration decided on that particular timeline.
‘It was based on a certain level of weeks from time we started and it happened to arrive, we were thinking of terms of sooner. I’d love to see it come sooner,’ President Trump said.
Trump has since appeared to soften his timeline and told Americans that some areas could remain closed while others opened.
Pictured: a graph showing several states’, including New York and Washington, rate of coronavirus deaths thus far
In New York City, there are at least 26,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus
‘So we’re going to be talking, and it could be we’ll do sections of our country,’ Trump said Wednesday at the White House.
‘There’s big sections of our country that are very, you know, little affected by what’s taking place, then there are other sections that are very heavily affected,’ the president said.
‘Then there are other sections that are very heavily affected, so there’s a big difference,’ Trump said.
‘I would say by Easter we’ll have a recommendation,’ he said – indicating he would be guided by health experts and other advisors.
On Friday, the Surgeon General said some states may be battling coronavirus until as late as Labor Day.
‘Everyone’s timeline is going to be different. Some places haven’t hit their peak yet,’ said Dr. Jerome Adams on Good Morning America.
‘We’re trying to give people the testing data to make informed choices. It doesn’t matter if it’s Easter, Memorial Day or Labor Day.
‘We know we want people to be thinking about what they can do now to get through as few deaths and hospitalizations as possible,’ he said.
Dr. Jerome Adams (pictured) told Good Morning America that some areas in the United States may be closed until Labor Day
As officials work to find a realistic deadline on social distancing, doctors and medical staff across the country are in a ‘war zone.’
Health care workers in New York are pleading for more medical supplies, like ventilators and face masks, as they face an influx of patients.
Early research said that medical staff is more likely to contract coronavirus than the average person and, unfortunately, could experience more severe symptoms.
Dr. Colleen Smith, of Elmhurst Hospital, told WLNY just how dire the situation at the medical center is.
According to Anthony Almojera, an employee with the EMS officers union, emergency workers are falling ill from the many coronavirus related call their answering, saying: ‘Our concern is that we don’t have the resources like masks and other protective equipment’
‘I want people to know that this is bad. People are dying. We don’t have the tools that we need,’ she said.
‘Our concern is that we don’t have the resources like masks and other protective equipment,’ said Anthony Almojera, an employee with the EMS officers union.
‘9/11 didn’t have this many calls. We’re doing it now everyday for the last two weeks the call volume has gone up and up,’ he added.
‘From the perspective of being properly prepared, the training is there. The equipment is not.’