MILWAUKEE -- Tensions over how to contain the coronavirus outbreak escalated Tuesday, March 3 in the United States as the death toll climbed to nine, and lawmakers expressed doubts about the government's ability to ramp up testing fast enough to deal with the crisis.
Currently, all of those deaths have occurred in Washington state, and most were residents of a nursing home in suburban Seattle. The number of infections in the U.S. overall climbed past 100, scattered across at least 15 states, with 27 cases in Washington alone.
Meantime, the American Cup, the USA’s most prestigious international gymnastics competition, will make its inaugural visit to Milwaukee on Saturday, March 7, 2020 at Fiserv Forum -- with gymnasts from around the globe taking center stage. This, amid coronavirus concerns.
"We've really got our finger on the pulse of best practices," said Peter Feigin, Milwaukee Bucks president. "I think for us, it's to be preventative and to be as proactive as we can to fight off the threat."
Athletes from at least 10 countries, including China, Italy, and Japan were scheduled to compete in Milwaukee Saturday. USA Gymnastics officials confirmed, "The Russian delegates will no longer be attending," but did not specify why. A spokeswoman also told FOX6 News in a statement, in part: "We will have physicians on-site and will also be providing information to all delegations on how to take extra precautions to prevent the spread of viruses at the competition."
"I'm a little paranoid of the virus myself," said Charlie Marchese, traveler. "If it gets worse, I would definitely personally stay away from big events and try and isolate myself as much as I could."
Fiserv Forum and the Milwaukee Bucks Chief Communications Officer Barry Baum released the following statement to FOX6 News:
"The health and safety of our employees, players, and fans are our top priorities. We are closely monitoring the coronavirus situation, including coordinating with the NBA, which is consulting with the CDC and infectious disease specialists to provide up-to-date information."
Baum also said additional sanitizer stations would be installed throughout the arena, and employees would be retrained on proper handwashing and sanitation.