Published On: Fri, May 22nd, 2020

Coronavirus study: Earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 lives in the US | World | News

The research, conducted by the Columbia University also showed that around 83 percent of lives could have been saves had the lockdown been introduced two weeks earlier. US President Donald Trump said the study was a “political hit job.”

The report, which has not been reviewed yet, includes figures up to May 3, at which point the official death toll was just over 65,300 in the US.

The current coronavirus death toll is 93,400 in the US, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The data in the study suggests measures implemented sooner could have made a drastic difference.

Trump advised Americans to restrict travel on March 16, five days after the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic.

States imposed their individual lockdowns at different times with California starting it on March 19, New York on March 22.

Georgia was one of the last states to implement lockdown measures, doing so on April 3.

Detractors say the Trump administration’s inaccurate and late testing efforts meant stated had insufficient data on the scale of the pandemic in February and early March.

The president also whitewashed the outbreak threat during this time.

Asked about the study on Thursday before a trip to Michigan, Mr Trump said: “I was so early – it was earlier than anybody thought.”

The research also puts into perspective how other politicians acted when faced with the threat of a pandemic.

READ MORE: Royal family devastated as children’s hospital closes after huge loss

Such findings have prompted Trump to push for further easing of lockdowns, as all 50 states have now started reopening at different speeds.

Trump disagreed with Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer on several occasions in the past after he said Michigan’s lockdown restrictions were “too tough” in April.

He also wrote “LIBERATE MICHIGAN” in a tweet, along with two other states.

Michigan is the state with the fourth-highest coronavirus death toll – more than 5,000 – according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.

During a visit to a Ford plant the president did not wear a face mask during the press briefing, but he claimed to have worn a mask and goggles during the tour.

He said it was “not necessary” to wear one in that part of the plant.

“I was given a choice and I had one on where they had an area [where] they preferred it,” he said.

He added: “I didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it.”

The president’s avoidance to wear a mask before the visit drew backlash from Michigan attorney general Dana Nessel, who told CNN “we are just asking that President Trump comply with the law of our state”.

She later stated an open letter that the president has “not only a legal responsibility, but also a social and moral responsibility, to take reasonable precautions”.

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