(Washington, D.C.) — Panic is wrong. We need to stay calm. We need to turn to the Scriptures and prayer and trust the Lord to protect us.
We would do well to start with Psalm 57:1, which a Christian leader in France just sent me. “Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me. For my soul takes refuge in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I take refuge until destruction passes by.”
We have faced global pandemics before (Ebola, avian flu, etc.) and gotten through them.
That said, this thing has all the makings of a global disaster if it is not contained and stopped.
“We are 10 days from the hospitals [in the U.S.] getting creamed,” says Tom Bossert, who previously served as President Trump’s homeland security adviser. “Simply put, as evidence of human-to-human transmission becomes clear in a community, officials must pull the trigger on aggressive interventions. Time matters. Two weeks of delay can mean the difference between success and failure. Public health experts learned this in 1918 when the Spanish flu killed 50 million to 100 million people around the globe. If we fail to take action, we will watch our health-care system be overwhelmed.”
“The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic on Wednesday as the new coronavirus, which was unknown to world health officials just three months ago, has rapidly spread to more than 121,000 people from Asia, to Europe, the Middle East and now parts of the United States,” reports CNBC.
“In the past two weeks the number of cases outside China has increased thirteenfold and the number of affected countries has tripled,” WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters.
“This is a reality check for every government on the planet: Wake up. Get ready. This virus may be on its way and you need to be ready. You have a duty to your citizens, you have a duty to the world to be ready,” Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO’s health emergencies program, said during a press briefing on Feb. 28.
The coronavirus is “ten times more lethal than the seasonal flu,” warned Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the administration’s top expert on the crisis.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel issued the starkest warning I’ve heard so far, almost apocalyptic. “When the virus is out there, the population has no immunity and no therapy exists, then 60 to 70% of the population will be infected,” Merkel told a news conference in Berlin on Wednesday.” Germany has 82 million citizens.
“Right now, the epicenter — the new China — is Europe,” says Robert Redfield, head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
Italy alone has more than 10,000 cases (compared to 1,000 in the U.S.) has put the entire country under quarantine.
Here’s the latest as of Wednesday at 1pm eastern:
- 121,564 cases worldwide
- 4,373 deaths
- 109 countries — China, Italy, Iran and South Korea hardest hit
- The number of cases in Israel has jumped from 21 last Friday to 79 now.
- As I reported earlier this week, Israel has effectively banned all non-essential travel into the country, asked all tourists to leave the country, and is putting all returning Israelis into 14-day quarantine.
- The global markets are reacting to the worsening crisis. “U.S. stocks dropped sharply Wednesday as investors anxious about the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic endured another day of tumultuous trading,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 1,245 points, or 4.9%. The S&P 500 fell 4.6%, and the Nasdaq Composite lost 4.3%” as of 1pm.
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