A doctor on the front lines of battling the coronavirus in the US said the pandemic will likely keep Americans at home for several weeks as it runs its course.
In a “Today” show interview Friday morning, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Americans shouldn’t expect to go back to their daily routines for quite a while.
“If you look at the trajectory of the curves of outbreaks in other areas, it’s at least going to be several weeks,” Fauci said. “I cannot see that all of a sudden next week or two weeks from now, it’s going to be over. I don’t think there’s a chance of that — I think it’s going to be several weeks.”
But Fauci noted that the availability of COVID-19 testing in the country is now on the upswing.
Pharmacists working at chain drug stores in the city are blasting Walgreens and CVS, saying the corporations have done little to protect their employees during the raging coronavirus pandemic.
A veteran pharmacist who has worked at a Staten Island Walgreens for more than 25 years told The Post the company has provided little guidance for coping with COVID-19.
She said Friday her store had yet to be deep-cleaned and there is no hand sanitizer for employees.
“Thousands of people are coming into the store and touching the pin-pads and there is nothing to clean them with,” said the pharmacist, who did not want to be identified for fear of losing her job.
“I don’t understand why doctors and nurses are having their temperatures taken before they go to a hospital, but there are no precautions for us who have to deal with sick people all day long.”
The majority of New York City residents who have tested positive for the coronavirus are men between the ages of 18 and 49, according to newly released public health data.
Even though experts say the elderly are the hardest hit by the virus, just 46% of the city’s COVID-19 patients are over 50 while 54% are 18-49. The remaining 2% of cases are people age 5 to 17.
The demographics, from the city’s Health Department, were determined from an analysis of 3,954 positive cases on March 19.
By Friday, March 20, there were 5,151 COVID-19 cases and 29 fatalities.
Women are underrepresented in the city’s tally while men account for 59% of infected people.
When Mayor de Blasio dragged aides and members of his NYPD security detail to his Brooklyn YMCA Monday morning amidst the coronavirus outbreak, fellow fitness enthusiasts were coughing and sneezing — and a mentally ill person was walking around touching the equipment, a gym source said.
“It’s crazy that he made his staff and detail come with him to the gym and expose them like that,” the source said.
But the incident is just one example of the mayor’s disregard for the health of his staff during the crisis, multiple sources told The Post.
There’s also growing frustration from senior aides, who fault the mayor for dithering instead of making decisions, micromanaging instead of leading, and insisting he knows best instead of listening to others, three sources said.
‘Thank god for Cuomo,’ is a common refrain among the mayor’s staff, made only partly in jest, sources said.
That’s because Gov. Andrew Cuomo has taken the lead on the city’s COVID-19 response — canceling the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, shutting down large venues including Broadway, and even pushing the mayor to close public schools.
But instead of the big picture, the head of the City that Never Sleeps has insisted on proofing all public materials about the city’s COVID-19 response from press releases to ad campaigns, one source said.
A top New York City surgeon warned that the hospital he works at could reach peak volume for COVID-19 cases in as few as 22 days — while grappling with the likelihood that physicians will be hit with the virus.
Dr. Craig Smith, who is the chief of surgery at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, wrote a letter to colleagues Friday predicting that the hospital could be over capacity for coronavirus patients in 22 to 32 days.
“The hard data has become alarming,” Smith wrote in a memo. “I wish I could use a more comforting word.”
Smith said in an update Saturday that the number of undetected patients with coronavirus is likely “much larger than we imagined,” which could put medical professionals at higher risk for the virus.
He said that is has become evident that the virus has already begun to infect colleagues on the frontlines of the health crisis.
“In the past few days it has also become obvious that the virus has breached our Department walls, and we can expect to hear about increasing numbers of infected Department colleagues,” he wrote. “It should be no surprise if these infections appear in clusters associated with the care of infected patients.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio on Sunday warned that Big Apple hospitals are just 10 days away from running out of essential equipment to save lives from the novel coronavirus.
“If we don’t get more ventilators in the next 10 days, people will die who don’t have to die. It’s as simple as that,” de Blasio told Wolf Blitzer on CNN’s “The Situation Room.”
“Bluntly, Wolf, I think we’re about 10 days away now from seeing widespread shortages of really fundamental supplies — ventilators, surgical masks — the things that absolutely are necessary to keep a hospital running,” he said.
“They will not be able to function if they don’t get an infusion of money right away,” he said.
De Blasio said the crisis — that has seen more than 8,000 cases in New York City with at least 60 deaths — will soon get worse.
“We have only just begun. That is the truth. The worst is yet to come,” he warned. “April is going to be a lot worse than March and I feel May could be worse than April.”
important. New Jersey’s top public health official says everyone, including her, will eventually contract the coronavirus.
“I’m definitely going to get it. We all are,” Judith Persichilli told NJ.com. “I’m just waiting.”
Persichilli, 71, is a member of the age demographic for which the virus is most deadly. Nevertheless, she said she believed the odds were still on her side and she would most likely have a mild form of the illness.
Persichilli has become a near-household name in the Garden State in recent weeks with regular press conferences where she reads the latest figures of coronavirus infections and deaths.
Since originating in China late last year, there have been at least 284,724 infections and 11,842 deaths from the virus worldwide. There have been 890 cases in New Jersey and 11 deaths so far as the virus rapidly spreads around the United States. Cases have now been reported in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Tuesday, March 17, 2020 – Interview with Judith Persichilli, R.N., B.S.N., M.A., Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Health for the State of New Jersey, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
Cuomo, de Blasio Call for Federal Govt. Help; NYC Now Epicenter of U.S. Coronavirus Outbreak
New York’s COVID-19 trends: