Virus Outbreak

People wait in line for Coronavirus testing last month at Dodger Stadium. America’s failure so far to contain the spread of the Coronavirus as it moves across the country has been met with astonishment and alarm on both sides of the Atlantic.

ROME — With confirmed Coronavirus cases in the U.S. hitting 5 million Sunday, by far the highest of any country, the failure of the most powerful nation in the world to contain the scourge has been met with astonishment and alarm in Europe.

Perhaps nowhere outside the US is America’s bungled virus response viewed with more consternation than in Italy, which was ground zero of Europe’s epidemic. Italians were unprepared when the outbreak exploded in February, and the country still has one of the world’s highest official death tolls at over 35,000.

But after a strict nationwide, 10-week lockdown, vigilant tracing of new clusters and general acceptance of mask mandates and social distancing, Italy has become a model of virus containment.

“Don’t they care about their health?” a mask-clad Patrizia Antonini asked about people in the United States as she walked with friends along the banks of Lake Bracciano, north of Rome. “They need to take our precautions. ... They need a real lockdown.”

Much of the incredulity in Europe stems from the fact that America had the benefit of time, European experience and medical know-how to treat the virus that the continent itself didn’t have when the first COVID-19 patients started filling intensive care units.

M ore than four months into a sustained outbreak, the US reached the five million mark, according to the running count kept by Johns Hopkins University. Health officials believe the actual number is perhaps 10 times higher, or closer to 50 million, given testing limitations and the fact that as many as 40% of all those who are infected have no symptoms.

“We Italians always saw America as a model,” said Massimo Franco, a columnist with daily Corriere della Sera. “But with this virus we’ve discovered a country that is very fragile, with bad infrastructure and a public health system that is nonexistent.”

With America’s world’s-highest death toll of more than 160,000, its politicized resistance to masks and its rising caseload, European nations have barred American tourists and visitors from other countries with growing cases from freely traveling to the bloc.

(2) comments

Jimzan

This in an impact photo..If you have to put that many cones out...you are an idiot. The AP must think you are an idiot also....they sure are playing you for one.

Jimzan

Europe is far left...who cares what they think..maybe the Obama's might care. Also add germany to that list..who cares what they think..They are just helping to promote fear and depression...they are China's tool. What does China pay the E.U and Germany.....money, goods, resources..all of the above...?

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