Despite the skyrocketing figures, President Donald Trump on April 5 struck an optimistic tone at the daily White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing as he assured the public that there was “light at the end of the tunnel,” and that “things are happening.”
“We’re starting to see light at the end of the tunnel. And hopefully, in the not too distant future, we’ll be very proud of the job we all did. You can never be happy when so many people are dying, but we’re going to be very proud of the job we did to keep the death down to an absolute minimum,” the president said.
Dr. Deborah Birx, the response coordinator for the White House virus task force, said health experts are looking toward the “hopeful signs” in Italy and Spain. The number of new cases and deaths there have been declining after nearly four weeks of social distancing and staying at home.
“It’s giving us hope of what our future could be,” she told reporters. “And so we can really see that beginning to work [the strict social distancing measures and staying at home]. We’re very hopeful that over the next week, although we’ll see rising number of cases of people who lose their lives to this illness, we’re also hopeful to see a stabilization of cases across these large metro areas where the outbreak began several weeks ago,” she added.
The latest figures from the United States are in stark contrast to Italy, which recorded its lowest number of deaths over 24 hours with 525, Angelo Borrelli, the head of Italy’s Civil Protection agency said on Sunday. It’s the lowest such figure in the country since 427 deaths were registered on March 19.
Italy has the highest number of fatalities in the world, with a total of 15,887 deaths and nearly 129,000 confirmed CCP virus cases and has extended its lockdown until April 13. But Borrelli said, along with the declining death rates, the number of intensive care unit beds occupied by CCP virus patients has also shown a decrease in the last few days, including in northern Lombardy, Italy’s most stricken region. Borrelli also noted that the number of those hospitalized but not in ICU beds also has decreased.
“The curve, which had been plateauing for days, is starting to descend,” national health official Silvio Brusaferro told reporters, referring to graphs indicating daily numbers of confirmed cases. However, Borrelli warned, “This good news shouldn’t make us drop our guard.”