In the initial weeks of the coronavirus crisis, infection rates climbed steadily in the US and Europe, with governments on both sides of the Atlantic slow to respond.
But more recently, infection rates have sharply spiked again in the US, while across Europe they have steadily declined.
Experts from Europe have criticized a series of failings in the US, which they said had left Americans exposed to infection while in Europe, as lockdown eases, infection remains low.
The US government imposed lockdown too late then lifted it too early, a leading Danish epidemiologist told Business Insider.
Others say the Trump administration ignores scientific data, a recurring criticism.
The EU is reportedly considering imposing a travel ban on American citizens, amid concern that US travellers could cause a new increase in infections.
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Experts in Europe are looking on in horror as the US coronavirus outbreak continues to worsen, in contrast to declines in their own countries.
As the pandemic first began to sweep across the world in the first few months of the year, many nations in Europe were caught off-guard, much as the US was. Infection rates climbed steeply in both continents.
But then their paths have diverged. Infections rates across most of Europe are in steady decline after months of stringent lockdown measures. France, Spain, and Italy had particularly severe outbreaks, but have since started to recover.
Meanwhile, infections in the US are again sharply increasing.
The US is the country most severely hit by the pandemic, with a seven day average of 23,000 new cases recorded daily. In the 27 states of the European Union — which has a larger population than the US — an average of 4,000 new cases are being recorded.
The biggest story of coronavirus response right now is US vs EU. Nearly identical case rate going up (US 10 days later).
And then Europe starts managing the crisis. While much of the US doesn’t. pic.twitter.com/sCMRBSjZFq
— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) June 19, 2020
Experts believe that a number of factors are behind the US’ failings.
US response ‘too little too late’
Denmark’s coronavirus strategy is one of Europe’s success stories. The Nordic country was the second in Europe to impose lockdown. It launched an effective “test and trace” system and has seen 603 coronavirus related deaths, a relatively low number.
Christian Wejse, a professor at Aarhus University, is one of the country’s leading epidemiologists. He was critical of the US response, which he characterized as slow and piecemeal.
“The lockdown in the US was too little and too late, so the effect was more limited and did not cause a rapid decline in the epidemic after two weeks as we observed in most European countries,” he said.
He pointed to a study by scientists at Columbia University, who estimated that 36,000 US deaths could have avoided if social distancing had been introduced only a week earlier.
Wejse said: “In the beginning of an epidemic, where …read more
Source:: Business Insider