SPOTLIGHT – With more than 500,000 people succumbing to the virus and more than 28 million infections, the United States is the country most affected by the pandemic in the world.
Americans are paying a heavy price for the pandemic. More than half a million people have died from Covid-19 in the United States since their first death, known on February 29, 2020, in the Seattle area. A human toll never seen in the country.
“More Americans have died in this pandemic than in World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War combined,” President Joe Biden said in an address Monday. A figure that makes the United States the country most affected by the pandemic in the world.
How to explain it? Why is the world’s leading power so hard hit? What first lessons do American specialists draw from this pandemic year? For Dr Joseph Masci, one of the officials at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, the Covid-19 pandemic presented an element of surprise. Before it emerged in late 2019, Americans were watching coronaviruses “from afar,” he says, “and there, suddenly, the United States found itself at the epicenter of the problem.”
But the Trump administration’s “messy” response has not helped. “In a country like ours, with 50 states, a huge surface area, a network of largely private hospitals, it was going to be difficult to bring everyone together around the same strategies.” “The fact that hospitals were competing for protective equipment made no sense. It should have been centralized very quickly, and they didn’t,” he says.