Forgive me this rant, but I have to say this. There are now 26 states with between 1,000 and 10,000 cases of Covid-19. It took 5 days for NY to grow from 1,000 to 10,000, and another 12 days to grow from 10,000 to 100,000 cases, even with strict stay-at-home orders in place.
The math doesn't lie, even if the president does. In less than 2 weeks, it is possible, and indeed some experts say likely, that we will have over 2 dozen states each with more than 100K cases, each with 500 patients dying daily, more if we run out of beds, ICUs and ventilators.
Everyone knows by now that this level of outbreak was preventable, but we have to focus ahead now on what we can still do. We will need streamlined, nationalized supplies of PPEs (masks, ventilators, gowns) to protect our doctors, nurses and other medical workers.
Right now, the U.S. emergency supply of PPEs is dwindling and will run out. States should not be competing with each other to gain access or purchase these medical supplies. And they should not be doled out as political favors or rewards to certain states.
The administration's near criminal mismanagement that got us to where we are need not continue and result in more needless deaths. For starters, the White House Task Force should be issuing clear and strong guidelines for states, including full-scale shutdowns.
States that are still permitting large gatherings (for example, by exempting churches from stay-at-home orders) must be told to stop. We all need to be following the same rules, everywhere.
The federal government must step up and order production of ventilators and masks, with the president utilizing powers under the Defense Production Act. There is no time to waste.
The worst of the epidemic has yet to hit us, but we have time to prepare. Places like Wuhan, Italy, and NY have shown us what happens when the virus peaks in a given city or area. We must seize that lead time and prevent more deaths. And Trump must lead us, or get out of the way.
You can follow @GeorgeTakei.
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