United States set daily record for Covid-19 deaths on same day as siege on Capitol Hill
3,964 Covid-19 deaths were reported as of Wednesday, according to the New York Times database. The United States now averages about 2,700 deaths per day over the past seven days. A total of 361,383 Americans have died in the pandemic.
Every significant measure of Covid-19 – cases, deaths and hospitalizations – is at or near its all-time high in the closing days of the Trump administration.
Despite the deployment of two vaccines, the number of deaths will continue to climb alongside hospitalizations. Public health experts have said they expect the holiday season to continue to take a heavy toll, the full extent of which will take several weeks to be seen in the numbers. A new, more contagious variant SARS-Cov-2 has arrived, popping up in states across the country.
Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned in early December that the United States could see up to 450,000 deaths from Covid-19 by February. Yet there was no significant federal mobilization to fight the push.
Public health experts point to White House, as well as heads of state, for explaining the record numbers of Covid-19 reported nationwide.
“It’s really from my perspective because of leadership failure at the state and federal levels that we are in the position we find ourselves in,” Harry Heiman, clinical professor at the Georgia State University.
President Trump has barely commented on the pandemic since election day, while also stirring up discontent over his electoral defeat that led to Wednesday’s siege on Capitol Hill. Meanwhile, the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines that could help end the pandemic has become a mess on his watch.
Heiman said his hope to turn the tide of the pandemic is for President-elect Joe Biden to bring in an “A team” and provide more resources to states for their Covid-19 response and vaccination efforts.
After the Democratic second-round victories of the Georgia Senate, the other big event of this historic week, Biden should have a better chance of passing a law to fund these efforts. Additional funds for hospitals and local health agencies are already underway, as part of the second Covid-19 relief package which happened in December. Biden said additional funding would be a top priority when he takes office.
But in the meantime, thousands of Americans will continue to die from Covid-19, as the United States suffers from the worst of the pandemic to date.