Wednesday, December 7, 2022

US Death toll passes 2,00,000; Trump bets on vaccine

Venkata Kondubhatla

The number of deaths in the US due to Covid 19 is 2,05,478 as on Wednesday (September 23) morning, according to Worldometer. The number has crossed two lakhs, as the pharma firms are racing to bring out a vaccine for the virus.

US President Donald Trump has directed his officials to bring out a vaccine before the elections in November. A vaccine is “going to be done in a very short period of time. We could even have it in the month of October,” he told reporters at the White House in September. He wants people to believe that the vaccine is going to come soon.

In the meantime, the death toll is rising. To put the massive figure of deaths in context, it is 83 times more than the deaths occurred in the Pearl Harbor attacks during the second world war, and1,190 times more than the number of deaths occurred in Oklahoma City bombings.

The number of deaths has been recorded as 5 per cent of the total number of cases in the country. The states like New York and New Jersey that were virus hubs till mid-July have begun to flatten their curves after July in terms of number of deaths. However, the virus has broadened in the states in central US like Wisconsin and Montana, departing from all the previous estimates on the number of deaths in the US.

The death toll in the US is more compared to anywhere in the world. It is followed by Brazil and India. In the total number of cases, the US is followed by India and then Brazil. However, the countries like Italy were successful in controlling the virus after spike in number of cases.

Donald Trump has been betting on the vaccine to save his re-election. The Democratic Party has been targeting him for lack of his leadership in tackling the virus in the midst of the pandemic, and that has been the theme of Biden’s campaign.

In fact, Trump’s downward spiral in terms of his public rating has begun a little after the pandemic had hit the country. Till then, he had been enjoying a decent rating. Though Democrats won the House of Representatives in the mid-term elections in 2018, he was able to consolidate his grip on the senate with 54 Republican senators, enough majority to get key bills passed.

Trump was also basking in the economic success with GDP growing and unemployment at a record low. The unemployment rate was 3.6 in January 2020. However, it reached a maximum of 14.7% by April.

Whenever there is a crisis, people come together. People give their complete support to their leaders in order for them to address the crisis. The presidents also get their full authority and they must stand above the partisan lines and politics. 

Trump’s rating also went up in the initial days of the spread of the virus in the country. But soon, his mismanagement in handling the pandemic in New York became obvious, and the country’s death toll has surpassed his estimate of “anywhere from 75,000 to 1,00,000 people.” 

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