President Donald Trump appeared for the first time on Saturday wearing a coronavirus protective mask in public. The same day the United States recorded a new record of contaminations.
This first masked appearance of the president, during a visit to the Walter Reed military hospital in the suburbs of Washington, has a strong symbolic value in the United States at a time when the epidemic is in full expansion especially in states of the south like Florida or Texas.
The Covid-19 also continues to progress rapidly in Latin America, where the balance sheets have just exceeded 71,000 dead in Brazil, 11,000 in Chile and 11,000 also in Peru.
Since the virus appeared, Mr. Trump has avoided showing himself in public with a mask, even though the wearing of this protection is recommended by the American health authorities.
He had thus contributed to making this issue an issue of political controversy, because the refusal to wear the mask is seen in part of American society as an affirmation of the individual freedom of the citizen vis-à-vis the federal and international authorities.
“It depends on the time”
On Saturday evening, Mr. Trump put on a dark blue mask to visit wounded combatants at the Walter Reed Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, near Washington.
“When you speak with soldiers who have just come out of the operating table, I think it is very good to wear a mask,” he told reporters before the visit. “I have never been against masks, but I am convinced that it depends on the time and the place.”
The United States is by far the country most heavily affected by the pandemic with more than 134,000 dead – 134,729 according to the count made on Saturday by Johns Hopkins University. According to figures from this university in Baltimore, which references, the country recorded a new record of contamination on Saturday with 66,528 cases in 24 hours.
Reopening of Disney World
Despite this disturbing development, part of the Disney World amusement park in Orlando, Florida, was reopened to the public on Saturday, after four months of closure. The hundreds of visitors present had reserved their tickets to allow their number to be controlled in the park and to make physical distance possible.
Provision was made for taking temperature at the entrance, wearing a compulsory mask, the ubiquity of hydroalcoholic gel dispensers and the minimum spacing of two meters in each attraction or inside the shops.
This partial reopening of Disney World while Florida is experiencing an acceleration of the epidemic has been often criticized on social networks. Florida is not the only American state in difficulty. In Georgia, Atlanta on Friday declared a return to a strict containment phase after partially reopening the city to normal operation. Hospitals in Texas say they are saturated.
Heavy balance sheets in Latin America
In Latin America, Brazil is the most heavily affected: the official balance sheet as of Saturday was 1,839,850 confirmed cases of contamination and 71,469 deaths, including 1,214 in the last 24 hours.
In Chile, the death toll is 11,272, according to data published Saturday by the Ministry of Health, which include as recommended by the criteria of the World Health Organization (WHO) 3,484 “probable” cases of related deaths to the virus.
Peru had 322,710 cases and 11,682 deaths on Saturday, according to the Ministry of Health. And Colombia officially crossed the threshold of 5,000 deaths on Saturday.
Since its appearance in December in China, the Covid-19 has killed more than 561,000 people worldwide and contaminated nearly 12.6 million.
WHO experts in China
Two WHO experts, an epidemiologist and an animal health specialist, are to begin an exploratory mission to China. Announcing on Friday that the experts were going to Beijing, the organization’s spokeswoman, Margaret Harris, said they would hold talks with Chinese officials and determine the locations for the future fact-finding mission.
“One of the biggest questions is whether the virus has been transmitted to humans by an animal and which animal it is,” said Harris.
In recent days, new outbreaks have appeared in Europe, the most bereaved continent with more than 200,000 deaths (for 2.8 million cases), but the situation appears to be under control for the moment.
In Israel, thousands of people gathered in Tel Aviv on Saturday to protest the government’s management of the epidemic and its aftermath.

Source: National News Agency