As the U.S. celebrated Memorial Day Weekend, protesters in various cities continued to call for governments to lift restrictions and fully reopen businesses.
But the U.S. — which has lagged behind many other industrialized nations in coronavirus testing — continues to lead the world in COVID-19 numbers with close to 100,000 deaths, and nearly 1.7 million cases.
With these alarming numbers, President Donald Trump’s disapproval ratings went up as well.
According to FiveThirtyEight, a website that aggregates and analyzes political opinion polls, among others, Trump’s disapproval rating is at 53.44% — his highest level since mid-January.
Meanwhile, Trump’s approval rating is at 42.7 percent — more than 3 points down compared to his post-acquittal peak in April.
On Memorial Day, Trump made two public appearances at the Fort McHenry National Monument and historic site in Maryland.
Earlier in the day Trump laid a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier at Arlington national cemetery in Virginia.
In contrast to a mask-less Trump on memorial day, his presumed presidential rival — Democrat Joe Biden, with his wife and staff were all wearing masks as they visited the veteran’s memorial park in Delaware, Biden’s first public appearance in two months.
Meanwhile in Geneva, the World Health Organization warned many countries all over the world that are already easing lockdown restrictions, that a 2nd peak within the first wave of the pandemic is still a strong possibility.
“We cannot make assumptions that just because the disease is on the way down now that it’s going to keep going down, and that we’re going to get a number of months to get ready for a second wave. We may get a second peak in this wave. This happened during pandemics in the past,” said Dr. Michael Ryan, WHO emergency chief.
The WHO emphasized that even countries that appear to have successfully contained the coronavirus and are thus relaxing restrictions — still need to remain on high alert.
The WHO leadership also announced that they are suspending their global hydroxychloroquine study.
Hydroxychloroquine is a controversial malaria and lupus drug that trump proudly announced he has been taking.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said latest data showed people taking hydroxychloroquine were at a higher risk of heart problems and even death — prompting them to temporarily pause on the clinical trial.
“The authors reported that among patients receiving the drug when used alone or along with a macrolide, they estimated a higher mortality rate. The executive group of the solidarity trial, representing 10 of the participating countries, met on Saturday and had agreed to review a comprehensive analysis and critical appraisal of all evidence available globally.”
Ghebreyesus though clarified that hydroxychloroquine is still deemed safe for use with auto-immune diseases and malaria.
The global WHO study involved more than 400 hospitals in 35 countries and 3,500 patients.
(Cover photo: Co-director of the intensive care unit at CommonSpirit’s Dignity Health California Hospital Medical Center, Dr. Zafia Anklesaria, 35, who is seven months pregnant, cleans her hands after intubating a COVID-19 patient in the intensive care unit at the hospital where she works, during the coronavirus outbreak, in Los Angeles. Reuters/Lucy Nicholson)