More than 500,000 people have died from Covid-19 in the US, just over a year after the country detected its first cases of a virus that has caused almost unprecedented losses.
The deaths surpassed half a million on Monday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, bringing the total to 500,071. More than 28 million people have also tested positive for coronavirus in the US.
Both numbers are the worst in the world and the pandemic has shed light on America’s ability to cope with such a disaster, especially during the tumultuous tenure of Donald Trump, whose administration ruined the government’s response.
After a devastating winter surge in cases, for the first time in months, the average number of new daily coronavirus cases in the US fell below 100,000 on February 12. Even with the cases declining, the US is still experiencing 1,500 to 3,500 deaths per day and public health officials have warned that recent advances could easily be reversed.
Perhaps the biggest threat is newer variants of the virus, which seem to spread faster and easier. Scientists are working to understand how these variants could change the effectiveness of vaccines as the US tries to scale up the distribution of inoculation.
About 13% of the American population, or 43 million people, have received their first dose of the vaccine, according to the Washington Post. Joe Biden pledged this month to make 600 million doses of the vaccine available by the end of July.
To avoid another spike in cases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky said the guidelines for wearing masks should remain in place and that people should continue to wear the mask. physical distancing to stop the spread of viruses.
A year after the first known Covid infections in the US, the Joe Biden administration has made the health and economic response to the pandemic a White House priority, after Donald Trump spent most of 2020 minimizing and discarding its terrible toll.
In the first year of the pandemic, more people died from Covid-19 than died from respiratory illnesses, firearms, and car accidents in the US in an average year.
Earlier this month, a Lancet commission said the US could have prevented 40% of deaths from Covid-19, if the country’s death rates had matched the rates of other high-rise G7 countries. income.
The Trump administration reacted slowly to the beginning of the pandemic and then frequently sought to undermine the science surrounding the virus, including spreading unfounded conspiracy theories and unverified treatments. Trump, who eventually became infected, in particular, inflamed racial tensions by blaming China and also circumventing widely accepted practices such as wearing masks.
Covid-19 deaths, hospitalizations, and cases have disproportionately affected Black, Latino, and Indigenous people. American Indians or Alaska Natives have died at a rate 2.4 times that of whites, blacks at 1.9 times the rate and Latinos at 2.3 times the rate, according to the CDC.
A little over a year has passed since the first known death in the United States from Covid-19 on February 6, 2020, although the death was not reported until April of that year. In early February 2020, the country’s first confirmed cases were detected in people returning from abroad, although the virus is now believed to have been spreading in the country for months before.
It was in Seattle in late February 2020 that the rapid spread of the disease became apparent to the nation, when the virus spread through a long-term care facility, resulting in the deaths of at least 46 people.
Local closures were soon implemented in many parts of the country, and by early April, New York City had become the epicenter of the global outbreak.
In October, scientists at the University of Washington warned that the death toll in the United States could reach half a million people by the end of February. The University’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation now projects that the death toll will be 616,000 by June 1.
The scientists said that the trajectory of the next four months will be determined by the distribution of the vaccine, the decrease in the transmission of the virus in the warmer months, the new variants and individual adherence to the use of masks and other public health guidelines. .