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Coronavirus in Ibero-America and Caribbean on a Trajectory to Catastrophe without Action Taken To Crush It

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EIRNS—To repeat what was reported earlier this week: In the space of one month, June, the number of COVID-19 cases in the Ibero-American and Caribbean region tripled, from 690,000 to 2.5 million. Today, a survey released by Agence France-Presse, quoted by the Argentine daily Infobae, indicates that for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, this region has surpassed Europe in the number of cases, now with a total of 2.7 million confirmed cases.

In a new report issued yesterday, the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), the regional adjunct of the World Health Organization (WHO), gives a figure of 5 million cases for all of the Americas, including Canada and the U.S. The report warns that “the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted to the region of the Americas,” with the U.S. and Brazil accounting for 75% of all cases and 74% of all deaths. Based on models used by the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, PAHO predicts that if by October, strict public health measures aren’t implemented, the region could see 400,000 deaths—a quadrupling of the current number of 121,000.

PAHO Executive Director Dr. Carissa Etienne emphasized in a press conference yesterday, that “it is important to emphasize that these projections will come to pass, only if the current conditions remain.” PAHO plays a crucial role in mobilizing needed resources and technical/medical assistance for the nations of the Americas, but is now under political attack by the Trump Administration—specifically Secretary of State Mike Pompeo—who is justifying cutting U.S. funding for the organization, on the specious grounds that it is unduly influenced by Cuba and doesn’t share U.S. “values.”