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A M Reid
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press
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The COVID-19 outbreak has spread rapidly across the world, forcing many to self-isolate and practice social distancing. Globally there are now over 220,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and the total death toll is almost at 10,000.
Although the pandemic started in Asia, last week the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that Europe has now become the epicenter of the pandemic.
“The number of cases of coronavirus reported every day in Europe has surpassed China at its peak,” Health and Science Correspondent James Gallagher noted.
The United States is also experiencing a rapid increase of confirmed cases, with the number now soaring above 10,000. While elderly people are considered the most vulnerable age group, a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 38 percent of those in the United States who were being hospitalized due to the virus, were aged between 20 and 54, meaning younger people are still at risk for developing severe conditions.
“I think everyone should be paying attention to this,” remarked professor of epidemiology Stephen Morse. “It’s not just going to be the elderly. There will be people age 20 and up. They do have to be careful, even if they think that they’re young and healthy.”
The virus has even infected members of Congress, with Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart (R-Fla.) and Ben McAdams (R-Utah) revealing on Wednesday they had tested positive for the virus.
Due to the pandemic, some late-night shows, such as The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, have suspended production in order to ensure the safety of staff. Despite this, Stephen Colbert has continued hosting his show from home, referring to the new content as “special social-distancing” editions.
On the latest home show, Colbert addressed how West Virginia announced its first confirmed case this Tuesday, meaning all 50 states now have cases of the virus. He also pointed out that ironically, just before the discovery, Donald Trump had praised West Virginia Gov Jim Justice (R) for “doing a great job” of keeping the virus out of the state.
“The coronavirus continues to be everywhere,” Colbert said. “After Trump made a big deal about it not being in West Virginia, last night we found out that West Virginia is the 50th state to report a coronavirus case. So now we are all in this together.”
Colbert further went on to criticize the clash between New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), who took opposing stances regarding enforcing a shelter in place order.
Although de Blasio said, “New Yorkers should be prepared right now for the possibility of a shelter in place order,” Cuomo refuted this claim at a news briefing.
“We hear ‘New York City is going to quarantine itself.’ That is not true. That cannot happen. It cannot happen legally. No city in the state can quarantine itself without state approval. And I have no interest whatsoever and no plan whatsoever to quarantine any city,” Cuomo stated.
“Mayor de Blasio, Governor Cuomo, the nation is in crisis, this is no time for a pissing match,” Colbert joked.
Colbert then touched on the Democratic primaries that took place in Arizona, Illinois, and Florida. He called it a “good old-fashioned butt-kicking,” as Joe Biden won all of the primaries, beating Bernie Sanders in Florida by nearly 40 points. Currently, Biden is in the lead at 1,181 delegates while Sanders is behind at 885, with many now speculating that Sanders will drop out of the race.
There are concerns about what will happen to the Democratic primary election amid the pandemic, with some states that haven’t voted yet delaying their primaries and most large rallies and events being canceled.
Coming to the end of his home show broadcast, Colbert finished his talk with an inspiring and hope-filled message to his viewers in a time of pandemic anxiety.
“Everywhere you look, people are looking after each other,” Colbert said. “Getting food or cleaning supplies for their neighbors, regardless of what that neighbor’s politics are. Democrat, Republican, socialist — it doesn’t matter right now. We can still disagree about many things, but this crisis has driven home — literally, home — the truth that this is one great nation, united by our belief in, and our need for, each other.”
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