The US death toll from COVID-19 has just surpassed 200,000, making it nearly equal to half the number of American lives lost in World War II. The battle against the pandemic continues, with public health and welfare often caught in the political cross-hairs during a presidential election year. According to data from John’s Hopkins University, the United States has seen nearly 7 million cases and ranks number one worldwide both in cases and deaths.
President Trump has faced harsh criticism in his handling of the pandemic, often butting heads with leading health officials, including Dr. Robert Redfield, the nation’s leading virologist and head of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Trump has frequently contradicted information from public health authorities and scientists, insisting a vaccine will be ready sooner than most experts predict, and possibly by election day.
Dr. Redfield recently stated the single most effective defense we have available right now is wearing a mask, saying even if a vaccine could be ready sooner than anticipated, the logistics of vaccinating the entire country will take months beyond the vaccine’s availability.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, referred to the death toll as “very sobering and in some respects stunning.” On Tuesday, Fauci stated he’s optimistic there is a growing possibility scientists will have at least one effective and safe vaccine ready at the end of fall into winter, and potentially more than one.
Ann Sullivan is a contributing staff writer covering national and world news topics. She brings dedicated experience having written international and domestic news, blogs, and web content for over 20 years. She’s also a published poet and graphic designer with degrees in Business and Graphic Communications and has been a music distributor, music industry sponsorship sales director and band manager.