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At Least 77 Nations Report COVID-19, While Trump Gets Briefed at NIH by Virology Researchers

March 3, 2020 (EIRNS)—As of today, more than 77 nations are reporting cases of COVID-19, with 12 nations on the list over the last 36 hours, and Ukraine being the latest. Numbers of experts are issuing the same caution as Dr. Anthony Fauci did last night to MSNBC, that we now are in a situation of pandemic-like proportions, where there are multiple locations of sustained transmission of the highly infectious agent. Fauci is the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The occurrence and spread would hit hard throughout Africa and much of South and Central America, where there are no adequate public health and medical defenses, but also in places like Greece, where, because of the liberal economics dictates for budget control, enforced by the EU and IMF, the healthcare system was cut by a third in the last decade.

Today President Donald Trump participated in a round table at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Maryland. Dr. Fauci gave Trump a short history of the class of microbes called the coronaviruses (for its crown-like configuration), including of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), with mortality of 9-10% and of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), which first spread from a bat to a camel. And some other coronaviruses that showed up, sometimes just jumping from an animal to a few people, and not spreading anywhere. But with COVID-19 it did.

Fauci ended by summarizing what the NIH infectious disease people are doing about the virus: basic research, including into the animal; diagnostics; therapeutics; vaccines.

Trump was appreciative. He thanked all the officials and staff, including for dealing with other nations that have been badly hit. He said that the U.S. is making decisions on travel and other things. Trump volunteered that his uncle, Dr. John Trump, was a big fan of the NIH researchers: “The world is extremely happy” about what you are doing. On funding, Trump referred to the fact that even more than the $2.5 billion he asked for may come from Congress. “I asked for X and they might give more than X, and that is all right.”

A few updates:

In Africa, Senegal reports a case, adding to that of Nigeria Algeria, and Egypt.

In South America, Argentina has confirmed its first case, in an individual who had traveled to Italy. Chile has also confirmed its first case in an individual who had traveled first to Southeast Asia and then to Spain. One additional case has been confirmed in Ecuador, bringing the total number in that country to seven.

The United States now has cases numbering at least 108 in 15 states, with the death toll at 9, all in Washington State, with 8 in King County (Seattle) and 1 in Snohomish County. The governors of Washington and Florida have declared states of emergency, in order to mobilize public health and medical response. Two COVID-19 cases were confirmed in Florida on March 1.

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