DW News
DW News 26 Mar 2020

Coronavirus: Is the US prepared for surging infections?


The US Senate has approved the biggest stimulus package in the country's history, to cushion the economic blow from the coronavirus pandemic. The legislation will provide two Ttrillion dollars to help stabilize businesses and households hit hard by the outbreak. The package - which is expected to be approved by the House of Representatives on Friday - comes as the number of infections soars. With the US looking likely to become the pandemic's new epicentre, many healthcare workers say they don't have the supplies they need.

The X-37B just launched on its sixth classified mission to space for the US Air Force. We run down what details we do know about the experiments it will be running.
With much of the United States practising self-quarantine measures in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, it is no longer business as usual. Just about everyone is rethinking their day-to-day work routine as they adjust to a new normal. That includes political campaigns as the clock ticks down to November's US presidential election.

US President Donald Trump has dismissed the notion that the election is a referendum on his handling of the virus, despite recent revelations that the virus has crept into the White House. The president's valet, a military member who assists the president with personal tasks, tested positive last week. Vice President Mike Pence's press secretary, Katie Miller, also tested positive. Miller is the wife of senior White House policy adviser Stephen Miller.

News of the outbreak reaching the White House forced officials to ramp up testing and contact tracing, a move that provided fodder to the president's foes. Democratic candidate Joe Biden claims President Trump's response to the pandemic highlights a serious lack of leadership.

"Instead of unifying the country to accelerate our public health response and get economic relief to those who need it, President Trump is reverting to a familiar strategy of deflecting blame and dividing Americans," Biden wrote in a Washington Post op-ed published Monday.

On this episode of The Stream, we look at the impact the pandemic is having on the race for White House and ask how the candidates' campaigns are adapting.
A superpower laid low by the coronavirus: Infections in the USA continue to rise and the economy is on life support. Will the pandemic cost President Trump the election?

Guests: Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson (KCRW Radio Berlin), Matthew Karnitschnig (Politico), Daniel Hamilton (Johns Hopkins University)

Daniel Hamilton is a professor for Poltical Science at Johns Hopkins University. Currently he is a Robert Bosch-Fellow in Berlin. He says: "Pandemic, recession, systemic racism -- all made worse by Donald Trump. It's a combustible brew." 
Matthew Karnitschnig is chief Europe correspondent for „Politico". His view: „The pandemic is Trump's Waterloo. The main question now is not if he will lose, but rather by how much."
Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson is program director at KCRW, a Radio station based here in Berlin and affiliated with the US broadcaster NPR. And she says: „Donald Trump's performance regarding COVID-19 may not matter, because recessions lead to reelection losers." 
The United States has become the first country in the world to record 100,000 deaths from the novel coronavirus.
The total number of infections in the US is just shy of 1.7 million.
But it is still loosening restrictions aimed at stopping the pandemic.

Al Jazeera's Kristen Saloomey reports.

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