It's Official: Pandemic

The World Health Organization has just declared COVID-19 has reached the pandemic stage:

BREAKING: The World Health Organization on Wednesday declared coronavirus a pandemic. The declaration signals that health experts believe countries should focus efforts less on containing virus and more on preparations such as getting hospitals ready to handle an influx of patients, stockpiling materials and enacting social distancing policies. www.washingtonpost.com/…

Of course, we all knew this was coming, and should have been preparing for it all along. Which the Great Orange Shitgibbon has refused to do. But this news might explain why the real health experts testifying on Capitol Hill this morning were abruptly called away to the White House; they may have gotten word this was coming.

More from CNN: WHO has noticed the Trump maladmistration’s lack of action, without specifically naming them:

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a press briefing today that the agency is “deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction” when he said the novel coronavirus outbreak is a pandemic.

He added: “We cannot say this loudly enough, or clearly enough, or often enough: All countries can still change the course of this pandemic.” [emphasis added]

From the NYT:

But now there is evidence on six continents of sustained transmission of the virus, which has infected more than 120,000 people and killed more than 4,300, and by most scientific measures the spread qualifies as a pandemic. The designation itself is largely symbolic, but public health officials know that the public will hear in the word elements of danger and risk.

According to the W.H.O., an epidemic is defined as a regional outbreak of an illness that spreads unexpectedly. In 2010, it defined a pandemic as “the worldwide spread of a new disease” that affects large numbers of people. The C.D.C. says it is “an epidemic that has spread over several countries or continents, usually affecting a large number of people.”