Coronavirus: Trump travel bans were too late to prevent Covid-19 transmission, as CDC confirms outbr

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  1. Flower

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    By the time Donald Trump‘s administration imposed travel restrictions from Europe into the US at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the virus had been circulating widely in New York City, according to a new report from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    A month after the president imposed a travel ban from China on 2 February, a virus strain that more closely resembled one from Europe was infecting New Yorkers. By mid-March, community transmission was widespread, the CDC reports.

    “The virus came to New York, and Americans died, because of government failure,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a call with reporters on Thursday. ”They missed the science.”

    The study collected samples from the New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene from 1 March through 20 March. On 8 March, the department announced it had detected community transmission of the virus.
    Among 544 specimens that the CDC studied from patients with flu-like illnesses that tested negative for influenza, 36 tested positive for Covid-19, and “genetically sequenced positive specimens most closely resembled sequences circulating in Europe,” according to the report.
    The Trump administration put European travel restrictions in place on 13 March. The earliest strain detected was from 2 March.

    By April, New York had emerged as a global epicentre of the virus. More than 32,000 patients in the state have died since the beginning of the outbreak, far more than anywhere else in the US.
    “No sentinel sequences were directly connected to sequences from Wuhan, China, where the outbreak originated,” according to the report.
    The CDC said the results were “unanticipated” given the population of Chinese speakers living in the areas where samples were discovered.

    “Rather, the sequence analysis suggests probable introductions of [Covid-19] from Europe, from other US locations, and local introductions from within New York,” the report says. “Although travel restrictions are an important mitigation strategy, by the time the European restrictions were implemented, importation and community transmission of [Covid-19] had already occurred in [New York City].”
    Mr Trump has frequently claimed that the ban on Chinese travel “saved” as many as “millions of lives” while his administration has been criticised for a slow and dismissive response to what became a massive public health crisis in in the days and weeks that followed.
    More than 138,000 people in the US have died from coronavirus-related illness, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. More than 3.5 million people have been infected.

    The CDC’s report echoes similar findings from a Mount Sinai study in April that determined New York City’s first confirmed cases of the virus came from European origins.

    While New York’s death toll and rate of infections have slowed months after the first cases were discovered, the rest of the US is beginning to see worrying surges of new cases and rising hospitalisations.

    “There will be a second wave,” Governor Cuomo said. “It’s going to be a rebound ... from other states that got infected, transmitting it back to New York.”
    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/...an-where-covid-come-from-europe-a9623721.html
     

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