It was the week that changed everything.
Federal, state and local governments, in the past 72 hours, have taken unprecedented steps to try and slow the coronavirus’ spread, and bolster small businesses, first-responders and hospitals that prepare for an influx of patients exhibiting serious symptoms.
Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker who is spending some time in Italy with his wife, Callista, the U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, wrote in Newsweek that the U.S. should plan for a “worst-case pandemic.” He called for a unified effort with the kind of “intensity of implementation which served us so well in World War II.”
Exhausted Italian nurses have taken to social media to give grim updates about patient care in the country’s northern city of Lombardy. Some health care workers there say hospitals can’t keep up with the demand, and they’re running out of beds.
“It’s as if you were asking what to do if an atomic bomb explodes,” Dr. Antonio Pesenti, the head of Lombardy’s intensive crisis care unit, told the Washington Post. “You declare defeat. We’ll try to salvage what’s salvageable.”