When the pandemic first hit the U.S. in mid-March, the projected death toll with physical distancing measures in place was between 100,000 to 240,000. In early April, a more optimistic figure of 60,000 was put forward.
That was based on a University of Washington study. Whether that figure was ever realistic is hard to know. But in the month since the study was released numerous parties in numerous ways have undermined the effectiveness of physical distancing guidelines. As a result, the U.S. has blown past the projections contained in the model with the infection/death totals standing at 1,333,540 and 79,252 as of noon today.
Since the pandemic started, the idea has been floated that, based on the usual pattern of a typical flu season, the virus might subside over the summer before perhaps returning in the fall. But a recent epidemiological report suggests that might not be the case. If that’s true, who knows how high the death toll might climb in the next few months.
Who knows, too, what lengths the Trump administration and the MAGA Republican horde will go to deny the impact of the pandemic and the grievous way in which it has been mishandled.
The latest revelation came on Friday when it was reported that the White House “buried” a report prepared by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offering guidance on how to open up different sectors of society including schools, churches, bars, restaurants and other businesses.
That followed on the heels of an earlier report on how a government scientist with expertise in vaccine development was ousted from their position after resisting a push by the Trump administration to promote hydroxychloroquine as a possible cure for the virus. The scientist has since filed a whistleblower complaint against the administration and calls have been made that the scientist should be reinstated.
As the body count climbs, and the clock ticks down on the upcoming November election, the level of desperation for Trump and his followers is only going to grow. Since they’re essentially denying reality, the only recourse they’ll have is to resort to mis-information, conspiracy theories and other forms of loony logic that have become the stock-in-trade of the reactionary right in the last two decades.
Should be interesting.