Leana Wen, former Health Commissioner for the City of Baltimore.
The first White House coronavirus task force briefing in months demonstrated a “stunning disconnect” between the administration and the reality of the coronavirus pandemic, a former Baltimore city health commissioner said Friday.
“It just appeared that there was this stunning disconnect between what the vice president was saying and the reality on the ground, because, frankly, we have a four-alarm fire,” Dr. Leana Wen told CNN. “We have exponential spread of coronavirus in multiple metropolitan areas around the country. In multiple states, we’re seeing ICUs being filled.”
“We’re basically seeing the same picture that we saw back in March, in New York City, but in many places in the country and without a plan to be able to address it,” Wen added.
Wen said she agreed with Vice President Mike Pence when he said the US had flattened the curve of the disease.
“But then what happened?” Wen asked. “When we reopened without having the capability to rein in these infections, and now all the sacrifices that people have made are going to go in vain and we still don’t have a national strategy, or even recognition from the vice president that we have a problem here.”
Wen faulted Pence for not endorsing the simple act of wearing a face covering. The administration, on the other hand, has touted the drug remdesivir, which helps critically ill Covid-19 patients.
“Well, we actually have a treatment right now, if you will. If you wear a mask, that reduces your risk of getting coronavirus by up to five times,” Wen said. “Imagine that this is a medication that we can all be taking. This is a basic intervention that all that should be doing right now in order to save lives.”