THURSDAY, May 12, 2022 (HealthDay News) — It’s a quantity many Americans have grimly anticipated however should discover laborious to grasp: Over a million of their fellow residents killed by COVID-19.
“Today, we mark a tragic milestone: one million American lives lost to COVID-19,” President Joe Biden remarked in a speech posted Thursday morning on the White House web site. “One million empty chairs around the dinner table. Each an irreplaceable loss. Each leaving behind a family, a community, and a Nation forever changed because of this pandemic. Jill and I pray for each of them.”
Biden ordered that U.S. flags be flown at half-staff Thursday in honor of these misplaced.
“As a Nation, we must not grow numb to such sorrow,” Biden mentioned. “To heal, we must remember. We must remain vigilant against this pandemic and do everything we can to save as many lives as possible.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s dying tally for COVID-19 within the United States stood at 995,747 as of Thursday morning, however that quantity is predicted to succeed in a million quickly. A COVID fatalities rely compiled by trackers at Johns Hopkins University places the toll close to 999,000.
The first deadly case reported to the CDC occurred in Washington state on Feb. 29, 2020, though more moderen investigations now counsel that the primary American deaths could have occurred in early January of that 12 months.
For many specialists who’ve tracked COVID-19’s relentless march by means of the inhabitants, it did not should be that method.
Dr. William Schaffner is medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. He pointed the finger on the early politicization of the pandemic by the Trump administration, citing blended messages and incomplete knowledge that saved many Americans from taking steps which may have saved lives.
Communication is essential in a pandemic, Schaffner mentioned, and the United States did not concern clear explanations and directions as COVID surged throughout the nation.
“It became very political,” Schaffner mentioned. “In the very same press conference, you would have political leaders saying one thing and then public health leaders three minutes later saying something 180 degrees different. And that went on and on, causing an incredible amount of confusion and misinformation with which we’re still dealing today.”
“When the political leadership says in the same sentence that masks should be worn, but they’re not going to wear them, you really have a problem,” he mentioned.
In the tip, administration of the disaster devolved to particular person states, Schaffner famous. That arrange a state of affairs resembling an out-of-sync orchestra.
In nations that fared higher in opposition to SARS-CoV-2, “there’s a [political] conductor, we’re all playing off the same sheet of music”; one thing that Schaffner believes didn’t occur within the United States.
“Countries that had a national policy did better than those who fractionated their leadership,” he defined.
Scientists weren’t fully innocent, both, Schaffner mentioned.
“We epidemiologists were slow to realize that COVID was different from those other coronaviruses that jumped species to the human population,” he mentioned. “They were hard to transmit, and we thought initially that COVID was similar. It turned out to be a very different virus. It was transmitted very readily. It had a lot of asymptomatic infection and spread very, very rapidly. It took us epidemiologists too long to recognize that.”
Another knowledgeable believes that the fast introduction and deployment of efficient COVID-19 vaccines in 2021 might have been a chance to sluggish deadly COVID circumstances.
However, “the most significant aspect of the death toll is the fact that more deaths occurred after the vaccine was available than before,” famous Dr. Amesh Adalja, senior scholar on the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, in Baltimore.
“An extremely high proportion of deaths are vaccine-preventable and were, in effect, chosen or willful because people turned away from the vaccines and bought into fallacious misinformation and conspiracy theories,” Adalja mentioned.
Find out extra about COVID-19 on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
SOURCES: Amesh Adalja, MD, senior scholar, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, Baltimore; William Schaffner, medical director, National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, Md.; White House, May 12, 2022
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