US Passes 200,000 Virus Deaths, Weeks Before Election
Sumaira FH 1 month ago Wed 23rd September 2020 | 01:50 AM
Washington, Sept 22 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 23rd Sep, 2020 ) :The United States registered its 200,000th death from the Covid-19 pandemic on Tuesday, the latest grim milestone for the country just weeks before voters decide if President Donald Trump will stay in office.
"Due to Donald Trump's lies and incompetence in the past six months, (we) have seen one of the gravest losses of American life in history," his Democratic rival Joe Biden charged Monday.
Reacting to the bleak new milestone, the top Democrat in Congress, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, blamed the soaring toll squarely on "Trump's deadly disinformation and negligence -- including his cover-up of the catastrophic nature of the virus." Trump, for his part, insists that the United States is already "rounding the corner" -- while betting on the swift approval of a Covid-19 vaccine to boost his reelection chances.
"We will distribute a vaccine, we will defeat the virus, we will end the pandemic, and we will enter a new era of unprecedented prosperity, cooperation and peace," Trump said in a recorded message to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.
But most experts argue that betting on vaccines is not a viable strategy.
Without adhering to masks, distancing and contact-tracing, and without ramping up testing, tens of thousands more could still die before life returns to normal in the US.
"Covid will be the third leading cause of death this year in the US," tweeted Tom Frieden, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) under former president Barack Obama.
"The staggering death toll from the virus is a reflection of a failed national response, but it's not too late to turn it around," said Frieden.
It's likely that the US actually crossed 200,000 deaths in July, said Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Research Institute, citing the excess overall mortality rate.
The initial lack of tests led to an undercount of the virus' toll.
"We are the outlier to have been caught totally flat-footed with no testing, and just not learning from mistakes," Topol said.
"We never got adequate suppression, and yet we're opening everything and trying to make believe that everything is just great."Adoption of public health measures remains mixed across the US.