While half a million Americans have died from the coronavirus, the declining infections and rapid vaccination strategy finally offer hope for improvement. Still, President Joe Biden and medics remain very careful.
Exactly 383 days after the first corona death in the United States, Monday night passed the sad milestone of 500,000 victims. To give you an idea, that’s as if the entire population of the southern city of Atlanta has been wiped out. Or all spectators of more than seven American Football mega stadiums.
Joe Biden on the heavy toll of the pandemic in the United States
“That means there have been more American deaths in a year than in World War I, World War II, and Vietnam War combined,” President Joe Biden lamented at a White House mourning ceremony, lighting 500 candles. “That’s a heartbreaking milestone.”
There have been more American deaths in one year than World War I, World War II, and Vietnam War combined. That is a heartbreaking milestone.
Bitter irony: Day after day a year ago, Bidens predecessor Donald Trump said, “We’ve got it under control, there’s not one death yet.” A few days later, the US was no longer avoiding the covid-kill dance. Ultimately, it would turn out that the first victim had already fallen in the US on 6 February 2020. If it took 48 days to kill 1,000, the US was down to 10,000 after 60 days. The first corona wave, with New York and the Northeast as the epicenter, led to the 100,000 casualties being passed after 111 days at the end of May.
The second wave, which mainly hit the south of the country during the summer months, resulted in 200,000 deaths at the end of September, after 229 days. After which the murky fall and winter set in, a third wave rolled first across the Midwest and then across the country, and things got really fast. Another 83 days later, in mid-December, the US was left with 300,000 dead. Barely 36 days later, the day before Biden’s inauguration, there were 400,000. The jump to half a million only took 34 days.
With 500,103 dead, 20 percent of the nearly 2.5 million victims worldwide, the US remains by far the hardest hit country, ahead of Brazil (247,143), Mexico (180,536), India (156,463) and the United Kingdom (120,988). In relative terms, Belgium leads the world ranking with around 190 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, although this is partly due to our central location and high population density. The US is in seventh place with 152 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants.
The hardest hit states are the most populous: California (49,530), New York (46,454), Texas (42,484), Florida (30,064) and Pennsylvania (23,657). Measured in terms of casualties per 100,000 inhabitants, the densely populated states of New Jersey (258) and New York (239) score the worst, but rural states such as Mississippi (220), South Dakota (211) and North Dakota (193) also did not escape the lung disease in the least. . In fact, no American region escaped it.
On Monday night, Biden tried to give his countrymen a message of hope. ‘We will get through here. I promise. This nation will smile again and will have sunny days again. ‘ In recent weeks, the daily number of infections (-44%), hospital admissions (-30%) and deaths (-36%) has decreased significantly. Partly because the infection rate was so high that the virus hit its own borders. Because stricter lockdown measures were introduced in many states, and more Americans started wearing mouth masks. And because Biden increased coordination between the federal level and individual states.
We will get through here. I promise. This nation will smile again and will have sunny days again.
The US is gradually feeling the impact of the vaccination campaign, which started in early December and is reaching cruising speed. 43.6 million Americans, 13 percent of the population, have already received an initial vaccination. 18.9 fellow countrymen, or 5.7 percent, have already received two injections. The extreme winter weather of the past week did slow down the distribution of vaccines. In many states, vaccinations are progressing so well that they are gradually getting too few doses.
Biden is on track to deliver on his promise after 100 days of presidency – at the end of April – vaccinating 100 million doses. His government purchased an additional 200 million vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, ensuring the US has enough doses to inoculate the entire population.
This is far from the time to lower our shield and roll back measures.
At the same time, Biden underlined the dangers of the more contagious British and South African corona variants, which are also on the rise in the US. His chief medical advisor Anthony Fauci thinks it is too early to say that a dose of the vaccine will suffice, as is the strategy the British are following. He thinks there is a good chance that the Americans will still wear mouth masks in 2022. In a joint communiqué, the American associations of doctors, nurses and hospitals emphasized this week: “This is anything but the time to lower our shield and roll back the measures.”
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