New York is now the coronavirus epicentre of the world. With 84,000 cases and a death toll doubling every 72 hours, the state is at breaking point.
But where is the next hot spot? The coronavirus pandemic has swept the globe like a hurricane, first hitting Wuhan, then northern Italy, then New York. Next in the eye of the storm is:
That’s accord to former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, who has been eerily and depressingly accurate since the beginning of this pandemic.
Speaking on CNBC Squawkbox, Gottlieb said the south-east region of the U.S., particularly Florida is now showing a parabolic rise in new cases.
The south-east looks like the most concerning region if I was to pick one. Florida, Georgia. You know, parts of Alabama, Louisiana if you consider that south-east, the sun belt. Those states look to be very concerning in terms of the growth of new cases.
Florida is rapidly approaching 8,000 cases and Governor Ron DeSantis just issued a stay-at-home order yesterday for at least 30 days. Many feel this is already too late after thousands of Spring Breakers descended onto Miami beaches during March. One Spring Breaker told BBC:
If I get corona, I get corona. At the end of the day, I’m not going to let it stop me from partying.
At least 44 individuals from Texas who travelled to Florida for Spring Break have since tested positive for the virus. It suggests the virus has been spreading rapidly through the state for weeks.
The U.S. is expected to see a number of hot spots emerge over the coming months. Unlike Italy and Spain where it’s easy to track the growth and decline, you can’t treat the United States as one dataset. Gottlieb explains:
The concern in the United States is it’s such a big country and we’re going to have so many hot spots, so many epicenters… You can’t look at the national trend, what you need to do is look at it regionally.
As Europe begins its slow recovery, and New York nears a peak, other U.S. regions will begin their exponential curve.
In a soundbite that will scare many, Gottlieb said the coronavirus will be part of our lives for up to two years, until a vaccine is found. However, we could begin to return to normal by summer or fall if a working therapeutic is discovered.
This virus isn’t going away. This virus is going to continue to bounce around the world and it’s going to change our lives until we have therapeutics that can vanquish it or really take the fear away from this virus spreading in the background. A drug can do that.
Researchers in the US, China, and the UK are all fast-tracking trials for therapeutic drugs, but it will take time to bring them to the market.
Last modified: April 2, 2020 3:28 PM UTC