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US Could Have Saved 36,000 Lives Had It Started Social Distancing A Week Earlier: Study

As many as 36,000 lives could have been saved if the US enacted social distancing measures just a week earlier, a study by Columbia University suggests.

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Had the United States started social distancing a week earlier, it could have saved at least 36,000 lives lost due to Coronavirus, according to new research. As per the research by Columbia University, around 84% of deaths could have been avoided had measures been taken two weeks earlier, and the country had entered lockdown by March 1. However, US President Donald Trump had dismissed the report as a "political hit job".

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Early lockdown could have prevented deaths

The study reads, "We find significant reductions of the basic reproductive numbers in major metropolitan areas in association with social distancing and other control measures. Counterfactual simulations indicate that, had these same control measures been implemented just 1-2 weeks earlier, a substantial number of cases and deaths could have been averted. Specifically, nationwide, 61.6% [95% CI: 54.6%-67.7%] of reported infections and 55.0% [95% CI: 46.1%-62.2%] of reported deaths as of May 3, 2020 could have been avoided if the same control measures had been implemented just one week earlier."

"A longer response time results in a stronger rebound of infections and death. Our findings underscore the importance of early intervention and aggressive response in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic," the research added.

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"Badge of honour" for America

With more than 1562714 cases and 93,863 deaths reported from the Covid-19 outbreak, the US is the most affected country

Earlier this week, US President Donald Trump stated that it is a "badge of honour" for America to "lead" the world with 1.5 million confirmed coronavirus cases since it means the US is testing more people for the disease that has killed over 300,000 people across the world. 

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"I look at that as, in a certain respect, as being a good thing because it meansour testing is much better. By the way, you know when you say that we lead in cases, that''s because we have more testing than anybody else. So when we have a lot of cases, I don't look at that as a bad thing, I look at that as, in a certain respect, as being a good thing because it means our testing is much better," he said on Tuesday at the White House as he hosted his first Cabinet meeting since the COVID-19 outbreak began.

He added: "So I view it as a badge of honour. Really, it's a badge of honour."

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