December starts in America with shocking corona figures. There are new doubts about the success of rapid vaccinations. And a fatal increase that experts expect is yet to come.
When Donald Trump and Joe Biden dueled in the election campaign, they offered their people very different predictions about the Corona winter in the US.
Trump said that from November 4, the day after the election, Corona will suddenly no longer be an issue. Tenor: The media is exaggerating the matter just to harm it.
Joe Biden, on the other hand, took a drastic photo in the TV duel with Trump: the nation faced a “dark winter,” Biden warned in late October.
At the beginning of December it is clear who was right. One million new infections were registered in the United States in the first five days of December alone. And in the first six days of December alone, there have been as many cases as in Germany in 2020 as a whole. In addition to new infections, hospitalizations and deaths have also reached record levels.
The “main thrust” is yet to come
On average, for the past week, 100,000 Covid patients were in the hospital every day – and more than 2,000 Americans died from Covid every day, despite better therapies and preventative measures than in the spring. This shows how widely and strongly the virus is currently spreading.
America is only at the beginning of the dark winter. Experts like Anthony Fauci expect drastic tightening in the coming days. “We’re seeing this staggering number of new cases and deliveries before we even feel the pressure of Thanksgiving,” the best infectious agent said Monday.
Immunologist Anthony Fauci: “Mid-January could be a” very dark time “in the US (Source: Susan Walsh / dpa)
During Thanksgiving on November 26, which is so important in America, millions of Americans ignored the warnings and traveled to their families by plane.
It gets a lot worse before it can get better
The hope for the vaccines is high, even if it is somewhat clouded by new developments. But it’s already clear: In the US, it will get a lot worse before it can get better.
The Trump administration had refused to implement an effective national strategy against the spread of the coronavirus – leaving the decisions to the states, while Trump himself repeatedly encouraged his supporters to protest against lockdown measures by Democratic governors.
The current corona wave is particularly drastic in the Midwestern states, but large parts of the country are colored deep red in the graphs showing the contamination rate. There is a dark red warning.
One of the few states that has now decided to take tough action is California, where hospitals are at the limit in some places. A three-week lockdown has been in effect since Monday morning for over 20 million residents in the south of the state.
Lockdown and Resistance in California
Citizens are not allowed to meet members of other households, hairdressers and bars must remain closed, restaurants are only allowed to offer take-out meals. The governor’s order is provoking fierce outcry – even sheriffs in some counties have announced they will not be enforcing the rules of Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom.
Meanwhile, sparsely populated South Dakota has the highest death rates. The governor there, a close ally of Trump, has refrained from taking any action against the virus. In general, few rural Americans follow distance rules or the requirement to wear mouth and nose protection.
President Trump himself mainly used his tweets and appearances during the recent corona escalation to attack the results of the presidential election. He hasn’t talked about Corona for a long time – and if so, then focus on vaccines.
The first introduction of the vaccine is approaching
On Tuesday, he wants to celebrate the impending approval of the first active ingredients in the White House. The drug agency could release the vaccine from the American company Pfizer and the German company Biontech this week.
According to the White House, 20 million Americans will receive the first of the two vaccine doses in December. That would affect much of the two highest priority groups, health workers and residents of retirement homes. But there are still serious questions about the procedure.
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Experts say that the pandemic cannot be stopped until three quarters of Americans have been vaccinated. Whether and when this threshold is reached is written in the stars. There is great skepticism about the vaccine, especially among Black Americans – and they are particularly hard hit by Covid.
Biden tries to persuade Americans to wear masks
Other containment measures are therefore even more important. Joe Biden has already announced that after taking office, he will call on all citizens to wear masks for a hundred days. “I think we’ll feel a significant decrease then,” the Democrat said in a CNN interview.
But even if the Americans follow the new president, it will still take six weeks for him to take office. The effects of Thanksgiving and Christmas could take full effect by then.
Without clear countermeasures, “mid-January could be a very dark time for us,” warned Fauci, a White House adviser whose advice has been ignored by Trump for months. Biden wants to bring him to his side as chief medical advisor.
Robert Redfield, the CDC’s chief executive of the US Health Department, called the winter months the “most difficult time in the history of public health in this country.” His authority assumes that 300,000 Americans will have died of Covid before Christmas.
Collaboration / graphics: Laura Stresing