US hits 200,000 virus dead, Trump says it’s ”a shame”; Britain faces pandemic winter of discontent
The staggering number of ccronavirus dead in the United States — 200,000 — is equivalent to a 9/11 attack every day for 67 days or around 600 fatal jetliner crashes. It is roughly equal to the population of Salt Lake City, Utah or Huntsville, Alabama.
“It is completely unfathomable that we’ve reached this point,” a Johns Hopkins University public health researcher said, eight months after the scourge first reached the world’s richest nation.
And while virus deaths in the U.S. continue at close to 770 a day on average, a widely cited model from the University of Washington predicts the U.S. toll will double to 400,000 by the end of the year as schools and colleges reopen and cold weather sets in, reports Carla K. Johnson. A vaccine is unlikely to become widely available until 2021.
The once-unimaginable grim milestone came six weeks before an election that is certain to be in part a referendum on President Donald Trump’s handling of the crisis.
Trump said it was “a shame” the U.S. reached 200,000 deaths but claimed the toll could have been much worse. “I think if we didn’t do it properly and do it right, you’d have 2.5 million deaths,” the president said.
VIDEO: Trump says 200,000 virus deaths milestone ”a shame.”
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said, “It didn’t have to be this bad. There’s a devastating human toll to this pandemic — and we can’t forget that.”
Milestone Politics: The Trump administration has prioritized politics over science at key moments over the past six months, refusing to follow expert advice that might have contained the spread of the novel coronavirus. Trump and his people routinely dismissed experts’ assessments of the gravity of the pandemic and of the measures needed to bring it under control. They have tried to muzzle scientists who dispute the administration’s rosy spin, Jason Dearen reports.
U.K.’s Winter of Discontent: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has appealed for a “spirit of togetherness” through the winter as he unveiled a series of new restrictions on everyday life to get on top of a dramatic spike in coronavirus cases. Warning that the new restrictions could last for six months, Johnson said that pubs, restaurants and other entertainment venues in England will have to close at 10 p.m. It was a speech with deliberate echoes of World War II communal spirit, Jill Lawless and Pan Pylas report from London.
Sierra Leone Doctor’s Mission: Dr. Mamadu Baldeh is one of only four physicians managing the COVID-19 unit at Sierra Leone’s Connaught Hospital, and the only one doing so while still overseeing the infectious diseases unit. Despite the loss of colleagues, Baldeh is fighting not only to save his coronavirus patients but also to provide quality care for those afflicted with other infectious diseases as he and other health care workers fight for a better system in the West African nation, Carley Petesch reports.