A Town of Palm Beach resident who tested positive for the coronavirus has died, and town officials said Thursday that the number of cases has grown to six.
Carole Brookins, according to a tweet by Joe Glauber, a senior fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute, was a former U.S. executive director at the World Bank.
Brookins, who died Monday, was 76.
She had recently returned to Palm Beach from Paris, Glauber said in the tweet, which quotes a statement by Gary Blumenthal, president and CEO of World Perspectives, which was founded by Brookins.
"It is with a heavy heart that we share with you that World Perspectives founder Carole Brookins died last night after succumbing to the COVID-19 virus.
"Carole left Wall Street to create World Perspectives in 1980, saying she was motivated by the grain embargo against the Soviet Union since it revealed the information gap between policymakers and the trade.
"Because of her intellect and spunk, she was in high demand throughout her life giving public speeches and providing valuable insight. She was on multiple corporate boards both before and after her appointment and U.S. Senate confirmation as U.S. Executive Director at the World Bank."
The town announced its first case on March 16. The patient was taken to the hospital on March 14, Town Manager Kirk Blouin said then, and that she had recently returned from Paris.
Speaking to the Daily News, Blouin said, "We've said all along that the numbers will increase, and people will die. We should not expect any different results from what other countries have experienced."
To focus on one person is not the point, Blouin said, adding that people are mistakenly focused on the numbers.
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As far as the greater community is concerned, he said, they should assume everyone outside of the people they are living with have the virus and should take the necessary precautions and devise their family plan with that perspective.
Infectious disease experts have said the number of people with the virus is 10 times higher than the confrimed cases that have been reported, Blouin said.
"Don't worry about what President Trump is doing or not doing, don't worry about what Gov. DeSantis is doing or not doing, refocus and direct your energy around things you can control, not on the things you cannot control," Blouin said.
No matter what government does, in the end no plan will work unless people follow the rules and orders and the law and the guidance outlined to them by town government and the CDC, Blouin said.
"People are panicked so I have to keep reinforcing this. People are going down the rabbit hole."
People have to make hard choices, he said. "For me my mother-in-law is great but because she works and gets exposed we can't have her come over." As for his mother, he speaks to her often but "I leave packages at her door."
Town Councilwoman Magaret Zeidman said while the official number of cases on Palm Beach is six, "we have more than that ... we are woefully under testing."
"Now that we've had a death it will really start to hit home. People will realize that this is happening. Someone we knew has now died from the coronavirus, and that won't be the last," she said.
"We have a population that travels back and forth between New York, Boston and Europe," she said, so testing is important.
She is concerned that because the county's curve remains on the rise, "the threat of overwhelming the capacity of the health system is real."
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