US President Joe Biden calls the number of corona deaths “heartbreaking”. Despite the almost unbelievable number of victims, there is also reason to hope: The corona vaccination campaign is now going quite well.
What will prevail first in the USA: Corona fatigue among people, the massive vaccination campaign or the more contagious virus variants? It’s a life and death race. The number of new infections in the USA is falling significantly and an average of 1.7 million people are vaccinated every day. There is therefore cautious reason for hope in the fight to contain the pandemic. But because of the dangerous virus variants, there could be new setbacks.
On Monday, the United States passed the sad threshold of half a million corona deaths. According to data from the University of Johns Hopkins, there have been 500,071 deaths from infection – more than any other country in the world. Behind the unbelievable number hides the suffering and death of countless grandmas, grandpas, fathers, mothers, daughters, sons, friends and neighbors. Millions of relatives and friends mourn for their loved ones, whom they often could not be close to in their last hours, to whom they often could not say goodbye.
More deaths than many wars
“That means more Americans died in a single year because of this pandemic than in World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War put together,” said US President Joe Biden on Monday, ordering the flags in the country to be at half mast for five days to commemorate the dead.
The authorities in the USA, a country with around 330 million inhabitants, have so far reported a good 28 million confirmed infections. On average, there are almost 70,000 new infections every day, the lowest value since the end of October. New admissions to hospitals are also falling. But more than 2000 people die on average every day after infection. In one and a half days, that is more victims than in the attacks of September 11, 2001. According to a much-noticed model, the number of corona deaths is set to rise to almost 600,000 by the end of May.
Trump just let it slide
A lot went wrong in the US with the pandemic. At the beginning, then President Donald Trump denied the danger posed by the virus, then he advocated certain drugs as supposed miracle cures without scientific evidence. In addition, he made it clear to the last that he found wearing masks rather annoying. Many experts accuse Trump of not having bothered to contain the pandemic. He didn’t want any more restrictions, no lockdown – he wanted to get the economy going again.
To do this, he also used vaccines. This bet worked. “This is the only aspect of the epidemic in which the US gets good grades,” said Microsoft founder Bill Gates, co-chair of the Gates Foundation. Thanks to the start-up funding from the government, vaccine development started at “full speed,” said Gates at the Munich Security Conference. The difficult planning of how the largest vaccination campaign in the country’s history should be carried out, however, left the Trump administration to the states. Chaos and bitter complaints followed promptly.
Biden makes you mobile
Biden, on the other hand, has been putting massive pressure on the vaccination campaign since he took office a month ago – and with success. The government has significantly increased weekly vaccine deliveries to the states and made them more reliable. In addition, Biden mobilized thousands of soldiers from the US military and resources from the Fema civil protection agency for large vaccination centers.
In the US, around 44 million people have had at least one vaccination since mid-December, a good 13 percent of the population. Almost 19 million people have already received both of the required doses, according to data from the CDC health authority. For comparison: In Germany around 3.3 million people have so far received the first vaccination, which corresponds to around four percent of the population, as the Robert Koch Institute announced on Monday. More than 1.7 million people have received both vaccinations.
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haz / fw (dpa, rtr, afp)