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[COMMENTARY] Global COVID Death Toll Reaches Five Million in Under Two Years

[COMMENTARY] Global COVID Death Toll Reaches Five Million in Under Two Years

It was supposed to go away “like magic” in the spring of 2020, according to renowned health expert Donald Trump. By Easter, he told us. Then, maybe be July 4th. And then the goalposts didn’t just keep moving, they were basically torn down and used to build a bonfire for the bodies that were stacking up in morgue trucks parked outside of hospitals. Has the U.S. been able to implement a real response to the Coronavirus pandemic when cases were still in the double digits, we might be facing a very different kind of holiday season.

Instead, less than two years after the first case was publicized, five million people worldwide have died from the “Democratic hoax” that Trump privately told Bob Woodward was “a killer.”

Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

The United States alone has recorded over 745,000 lives lost, more than any other nation. Together, the U.S. along with the European Union, Britain, and Brazil — all upper-middle- or high-income countries — accounts for one-eighth of the world’s population but nearly half of all reported deaths.

The death toll, as tallied by Johns Hopkins University, is about equal to the populations of Los Angeles and San Francisco combined. It rivals the number of people killed in battles among nations since 1950, according to estimates from the Peace Research Institute Oslo. Globally, COVID-19 is now the third leading cause of death, after heart disease and stroke.

Now, the virus is pummeling new hot spots in Russia, Ukraine, and other parts of Eastern Europe, especially where rumors, misinformation, and distrust in government have hobbled vaccination efforts. In Ukraine, only 17% of the adult population is fully vaccinated; in Armenia, only 7%, according to the Associated Press.

Wealthier nations with longer life expectancies have larger proportions of older people, cancer survivors, and nursing home residents, all of whom are especially vulnerable to COVID-19, the study showed. Poorer countries tend to have larger shares of children, teens, and young adults, who are less likely to fall seriously ill from the coronavirus. Wealth has also played a role in the global vaccination drive, with rich countries accused of locking up supplies. The U.S. and others are already dispensing booster shots at a time when millions across Africa haven’t received a single dose, though the rich countries are also shipping hundreds of millions of shots to the rest of the world.

The AP offers a country-by-country breakdown of cases here.

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