The National Center for Disaster Preparedness has recently released ‘130,000 – 210,000 Avoidable COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] Deaths – and Counting – in the U.S.,’ an analysis of U.S. COVID-19 related deaths. With more than 217,000 coronavirus-related fatalities, the United States now has the highest number of coronavirus-related fatalities worldwide. It is important to note that the U.S. only accounts for 4% of the total world’s population, yet multiple factors have led the U.S. to dwarf other countries in COVID-19 fatalities by more than 65,000 deaths. According to the report, “[m]any of the underlying factors amplifying the pandemic’s deadly impact have existed long before the novel coronavirus first arrived in Washington state on January 20th – a fractured healthcare system, inequitable access to care, and immense health, social and racial disparities among America’s most vulnerable groups.”
The U.S. also faces additional coronavirus specific challenges, including limited testing availability, a lack of testing standards and prevention mandates, and a general delay in pandemic response. The report estimates that “the United States may have incurred at least 130,000 avoidable deaths.” While the immediate effects of the coronavirus pandemic continue across the world, it is important to note that there will be long-term ramifications from the disease, which may include prolonged health issues such as “long-term damage to patients’ lungs, heart, immune system, and brain.”
For more information on topics related to this piece, check out the COVID-19 Special Collection, or visit the HSDL Featured Topics on Pandemics and Epidemics. Please note: HSDL login is required to view some of these resources.
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