Reprinted with permission from Alternet
In a brazen attempt to reshape reality to his desires, President Donald Trump declared from the White House press briefing room on Tuesday that we are beginning to see the “light at the end of the tunnel” in the coronavirus crisis.
But essentially all the experts disagree.
If you simply look at the evidence, you see why. Consider the trajectory of coronavirus cases detected in the United States, per Worldometer:
Total deaths in the United States, as of Tuesday, tell a similar story:
Both charts reveal the same trend: exponential growth that has not yet reached a peak. Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said Tuesday that cases in his state are doubling about every three days.
Also on Tuesday, a spokesperson for the World Health Organization said they think the United States could soon become the new center of the global pandemic.
And just the day before, the U.S. administration’s own Surgeon General Jerome Adams said: “I want America to understand this week it’s going to get bad.”
None of them see the light at the end of the tunnel.
So it was little surprise when, after Trump had said he wanted to end social distancing practices by Easter or sooner on Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci had to step up during the press briefing and throw some cold water on the idea.
“You can look at a date, but you’ve got to be very flexible,” Fauci, one of the top health experts on the coronavirus task force, explained.
Dr. Seem Yasmin, speaking on CNN after the briefing, was alarmed at Trump’s use of the phrase “light at the end of the tunnel.”
“I thought: ‘What light are you seeing?’ I hope it’s a warning light,” she told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. She said the mixed messages being sent from the White House are the last thing we need. “Because when I talk to my colleagues in emergency rooms, here in California and New York, Wolf, they are slammed. And they’re really worried about not being able to properly care for their patients. So telling the American people we’re seeing the light — I think that’s really misleading. Yes, you have to offer hope, but you cannot sugarcoat the truth.”
Fauci also used a revealing metaphor that contrasted with Trump’s messaging. Discussing the need to begin testing in population centers that have not yet become “hotspots” for the outbreak, Fauci said: “We need to put a light on those dark spots.”
This is because, without expansive testing, we don’t know how far Covid-19 has spread. In other words, we’re still in the dark.