NOEL KING, HOST:
The variety of deaths from COVID-19 and the variety of instances of the virus on this nation are nonetheless going up.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
However the White Home is telling us that there could also be some hope right here. On the coronavirus taskforce briefing late yesterday, Vice President Mike Pence mentioned this.
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VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: I wish to say to the American folks that we’re starting to see the glimmers of progress. The specialists will inform me to not soar to any conclusions, and I am not. However like your president, I am an optimistic individual, and I am hopeful.
KING: NPR science correspondent Nell Greenfieldboyce is on the road. Good morning, Nell.
NELL GREENFIELDBOYCE, BYLINE: Good morning.
KING: So what’s the progress that Mike Pence is speaking about there?
GREENFIELDBOYCE: So within the glimmers of hope class, I’d put barely decrease hospitalizations and deaths reported in New York. You understand, it is only one datapoint. You’d wish to see extra to see a pattern, however it’s one thing. Then White Home job power member Deborah Birx mentioned that in Italy and Spain, issues had been trying higher after 4 weeks of very sturdy social distancing there. After which in Washington state, right here in the US, Washington is sending again about 400 ventilators again to the nationwide stockpile. So all of these are type of tentative good indicators.
However once more, there are growing scorching spots that persons are nonetheless anxious about. So these embrace Louisiana, Michigan, Illinois. And in the US up to now, there have been over 300,000 instances and over 9,000 deaths. We all know that some deaths are simply not being recorded, as effectively. If individuals weren’t examined, they may not be formally counted as dying from the virus.
KING: OK. So we do not know an actual loss of life toll is among the issues.
Nell, the quantity that we had seen that had lots of people anxious is 100,000 to 240,000 deaths on this nation, in complete, due to the virus. Now, these numbers had been primarily based on scientific modeling. Are the fashions now saying something totally different, something extra constructive?
GREENFIELDBOYCE: Nicely, final night time at a briefing, Dr. Birx mentioned that the numbers had been nonetheless coming in round 100,000. However new numbers put out by an influential modeling group on the College of Washington counsel it might be decrease, in truth, possibly a lot decrease. They mentioned that there had been this large infusion of recent knowledge. And their predictions now say there’s going to be much less want than that they had thought for hospital beds, ICUs, ventilators. And people new predictions additionally put the variety of deaths decrease. So you recognize, 50,000 to 136,000. Now, you recognize, that is nonetheless an enormous quantity…
KING: Yeah. Proper.
GREENFIELDBOYCE: …Nevertheless it’s – you recognize, it is about half of what they had been predicting earlier than. So it is, once more, one other probably constructive signal. That mentioned, fashions are consistently being adjusted and adjusted. You understand, they’re solely pretty much as good as the information that goes into them. And as we all know, there’s nonetheless issues with testing in the US. You understand, in lots of locations, it is actually solely the very sick people who find themselves being examined. So we do not have a full thought of the scope of the epidemic.
KING: And for this week, we should always anticipate an increase within the variety of instances, proper?
GREENFIELDBOYCE: Yeah. We should always anticipate to see lots of coronavirus deaths. And provides will proceed to be a priority. So you recognize, the primary ones are these N95 masks and ventilators. You understand, however as you hear quite a bit about ventilators, simply keep in mind that ventilators usually are not – they seem to be a last-resort type of remedy. Most individuals who get placed on ventilators do not survive. So take social distancing very critically. It is nonetheless wanted right here.
KING: You understand, within the briefing yesterday, President Trump, once more, mentioned this anti-malaria drug must be used to deal with coronavirus. Now, each time he says that, some medical specialists appear upset that he is saying it. What data is President Trump working from?
GREENFIELDBOYCE: Nicely, I feel he, you recognize – there are anecdotal reviews that it might be constructive. However they have not been rigorously examined. And there isn’t any drugs confirmed to combat this virus.
KING: OK. NPR’s Nell Greenfieldboyce. Thanks, Nell.
KING: OK. In New York State, which is the epicenter of the virus proper now, the variety of COVID-19 deaths fell on Sunday.
GREENE: That is proper. So yesterday, the state counted 594 new deaths. That was down from Saturday. However as Nell simply informed us, I imply, that is sooner or later. It isn’t a pattern but. And Governor Cuomo mentioned he expects the state’s hospital system to achieve a breaking level within the coming days.
KING: Elizabeth Kim is with us now. She’s an editor and reporter with WNYC and Gothamist in New York Metropolis. Good morning, Elizabeth.
ELIZABETH KIM: Good morning.
KING: So what is the newest? What’s taking place in New York proper now?
KIM: In order of Sunday, greater than 4,000 individuals within the state have died from coronavirus. However the day by day numbers have simply been staggering. From Friday to Saturday, a complete of 630 individuals died from this illness. However the scary factor is, we have not even reached the height but.
KING: However there are fashions – proper? – that counsel we would have some thought of when New York will attain the height. What are they saying?
KIM: So principally, the governor has mentioned that that could be very a lot the large query is, when are we going to achieve the height? The fashions they have been utilizing have predicted a really broad vary of estimates on this, anyplace from simply a number of days from now to so long as three weeks.
KIM: However the governor did say that the drop within the one-day loss of life toll might be a sign that the state has hit a plateau with instances. However such as you mentioned, it is simply sooner or later’s price of knowledge. And it is nonetheless too quickly to inform, which is why the governor remains to be scrambling to get as many ventilators, provides and medical personnel as he can. What the state has now clearly is not sufficient. And with the instances piling up in a short time, it is troublesome for them to maintain up with the demand for provides and tools.
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ANDREW CUOMO: We’re actually going daily with our provides, with our employees, et cetera, which is counterintuitive and counteroperational for your entire well being care system.
KING: That was Governor Andrew Cuomo, we should always say. So how is he planning to get extra tools and extra medical personnel?
KIM: So over the weekend, the state acquired some superb information within the type of a thousand ventilators that they had been capable of safe from China with the assistance of this Chinese language e-commerce large known as Alibaba. After which on high of that, Oregon donated 140 ventilators to the state. The governor has additionally mentioned that he would problem an govt order to grab the unused ventilators within the state. A lot of them are in upstate hospitals, which have not seen as extreme an outbreak because the downstate area.
And eventually, he is additionally finished what different governors have finished. He is pleaded with the federal authorities to ship extra ventilators, extra protecting tools, extra staffing. After which he is additionally began to reiterate this concept posed by the mayor of New York Metropolis, Invoice de Blasio, that the federal authorities ought to take into consideration drafting well being care employees to assist states dealing with the very best variety of coronavirus sufferers – principally, a type of nationwide deployment of docs, nurses and different varieties of medical employees.
KING: That will be an fascinating improvement. Elizabeth Kim of WNYC and Gothamist in New York. Thanks.
KING: All proper. So Governor Cuomo, in fact, has been criticizing the federal authorities for not serving to New York state sufficient.
GREENE: That is proper. And it isn’t simply him, Noel, I imply, different governors say that the federal authorities isn’t serving to their states get medical provides like ventilators. That is Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker talking on CNN yesterday.
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JB PRITZKER: Nicely, the president doesn’t perceive the phrase federal – Federal Emergency Administration Company. We now have a state emergency administration company. But when he had been proper, why would we ever want a Federal Emergency Administration Company?
GREENE: Now, at a coronavirus briefing later within the day on the White Home, President Trump mentioned Governor Pritzker, quote, “had not carried out effectively.”
KING: NPR’s nationwide political correspondent Mara Liasson is with us. Good morning, Mara.
MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Good morning.
KING: So what has been taking place, this dynamic between state governors and the president?
LIASSON: There’s a actual disconnect between the narrative that the president delivers from the briefing room – that states are getting all the things they want from the federal authorities, that some states are asking for greater than they want from the federal authorities; some governors usually are not appreciative sufficient of what they’re getting – after which, as you simply heard, governors, Republicans and Democrats, saying that there’s not a ok federal coordinating effort to ensure that states can buy and procure the medical tools they want. Yesterday on the briefing, the president solely criticized one governor by title, and that was Pritzker. Clearly reacting to his feedback on that Sunday present, he mentioned I hear him complaining.
KING: A couple of minutes in the past, we heard that tape of Mike Pence speaking about glimmers of hope. Now, Nell defined the science behind that. Is President Trump saying the identical factor, that there is hope?
LIASSON: Sure. The White Home is delivering a two-track message. On the one hand, they’re bracing the nation for a really dangerous week. The surgeon basic mentioned this week goes to be our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11. However then you definately hear them saying there are glimmers of hope. There’s, quote, “mild on the finish of the tunnel.” Dr. Fauci defined why that is truly not contradictory as a result of there is a lag between new case and loss of life numbers.
So proper now, you might see the variety of deaths spiking up. But when the variety of new instances is decrease every day, if the variety of deaths is decrease every day than the day earlier than, that is an indication that the pandemic might be peaking. Administration officers say that is what they appear to be seeing in Spain and Italy. It is type of – it is all the time darkest simply earlier than daybreak.
LIASSON: So that they’re making an attempt to inform the American individuals, do not hand over on social distancing, however do not despair.
KING: And after we take into consideration how rapidly all of this has occurred, one factor that’s notable is that there’s alleged to be a major within the state of Wisconsin tomorrow. Now, this was, in fact, scheduled earlier than the pandemic. Nevertheless it has become a combat over how individuals in Wisconsin must be allowed to vote. Proper?
LIASSON: Proper. It is a major, nevertheless it’s additionally a bunch of native elections. The Democratic governor of Wisconsin wished to delay the first, as different governors, together with Republicans, have finished. However in Wisconsin, that may take an act of the legislature. Republicans management the Wisconsin legislature, they usually did not need that to occur.
So this can be a enormous battle. It is not simply in Wisconsin; it is also on the federal stage. Democrats wished extra money within the support invoice to assist states arrange vote-by-mail, however Republicans are in opposition to voting by mail. They really feel something that will increase general turnout is one thing that may assist Democrats and damage them as a result of there are extra potential Democratic voters on the market than Republicans. Even the president mentioned should you comply with what the Democrats need on poll entry, you’d, quote, “by no means have a Republican elected within the nation once more.”
KING: NPR nationwide political correspondent Mara Liasson. Mara, thanks a lot.
LIASSON: Thanks. Transcript offered by NPR, Copyright NPR.