The US death toll from Covid-19 has reached 900,000 less than two months after it dwarfed 800,000 – fueled in part by the wildly contagious Omicron variant.
The two-year total, compiled by Johns Hopkins University, is larger than the populations of Indianapolis, San Francisco, or Charlotte, North Carolina.
The milestone comes more than 13 months after a vaccination campaign that has been plagued by misinformation and political and legal wrangling, despite the vaccines having proven safe and highly effective in preventing serious illness and death.
“That’s an astronomical number. If you had told most Americans two years ago, when this pandemic was taking off, that 900,000 Americans were going to die in the next few years, I don’t think most people would have believed it,” said Dr. Ashish K Jha, Dean of Brown University School of Public Health.
He noted that most of the deaths occurred after the vaccine was approved.
“We got the medical science right. We failed in social science. We have failed to help people get vaccinated, to fight disinformation and not to politicize it,” said Dr. yeah “These are the places where we as America have failed.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 64% of the population is fully vaccinated, or about 212 million Americans.
“We underestimated our enemy here and underprepared to protect ourselves,” said Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, Professor of Public Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
“We have learned tremendous humility in the face of a deadly and contagious respiratory virus.”
Covid-19 is still done with the United States. dr Andrew Noymer, a professor of public health at the University of California, Irvine, predicted the US will hit one million deaths by March 1.
As Omicron eases its grip on the US as new cases have tumbled in recent weeks and the number of Americans hospitalized with Covid-19 has fallen, deaths are averaging more than 2,400 a day — the highest since last winter .
Despite its wealth and world-class medical facilities, the US has the highest reported toll of any country, and even then the real number of lives lost, directly or indirectly, to the coronavirus is believed to be significantly higher.
Experts believe some deaths from Covid-19 have been wrongly attributed to other conditions. And some Americans are said to have died from chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes because they were unable or unwilling to receive treatment during the crisis.
Covid-19 has become one of the top three killers in America, behind the big two – heart disease and cancer. dr Noymer said if the death rate from Covid-19 continues, it will shorten life expectancy in the US by up to two years.
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