Indianaâs senior legislator in the U.S. Senate warned Thursday that effects of the coronavirus are going to get worse before they get better.
âThis virus is likely to get worse and more challenging â at least in the short term,â U.S. Sen. Todd Young, R-IN, said Thursday. âAll of us need to remain vigilant. I am very sober-minded and clear-eyed about the challenges weâre likely to face in the next few weeks.â
On March 30, the Indiana Department of Health reported 1,786 confirmed cases of COVID-19 statewide with 35 fatalities. As of Thursdayâs 10 a.m. posting of new data, the number of cases in that three-day span have jumped 70%.
Fatalities have risen at an even higher rate, more than doubling from the three-day period between March 26, when there were 17 fatalities reported) and March 30, when the number of deaths reached 35.
During the past three days, the number of deaths credited to the virus have again more than doubled to a total of 79.
Many critics have pounced on the government, particularly the Trump administration, for a slow response to the spread of the virus.
Young said in reality, the U.S. response was based on the number of cases and number of fatalities being reported by China. Young said officials have learned the Chinese have greatly underreported their statistics, creating a large gap in what was thought to be needed and what is actually needed.
Based on faulty assumptions provided by Chinaâs statistics, the U.S. was not prepared for how quickly the virus could spread.
âChina should be held accountable and called out for its bad behavior,â Young said.
On the federal level, Young is working across the aisle to create legislation which he hopes will lead to greater corporate investment in high-tech fields such as quantum computing, 5G communication networks and artificial intelligence.
These investments, Young said, would lay the foundation for the United States to compete with China, which is on pace to spend more on research and development than America.
Despite the negative numbers coming from various state departments of health, Young has been encouraged by the responses of Hoosiers.
âItâs encouraging that our private sector has kicked it into gear,â Young said, pointing to the GM plant in Kokomo which has begun manufacturing ventilators for virus patients unable to breathe on their own.
âItâs also encouraging that Hoosiers are practicing social distancing and washing their hands,â Young said.
Young said he has been pleased with the bipartisan support relief legislation has eventually received, saying it has mirrored the response by everyday Americans.
âThis strengthens the bonds between individual Americans,â Young said. âOur elected officials should come together as well.â
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