US could have avoided almost 400,000 Covid deaths with better response, report claims
Researcher suggests US death toll could have reached 1.27 million without development of vaccine
As many as 400,000 deaths could have been avoided with a better response to Covid-19 by the United States, a study has claimed.
Although the nation’s death toll stands at 540,000 and counting, as many as 400,000 of those could have been avoided, according to a group of research papers released at a Brookings Institution conference.
Andrew Atkeson, an economics professor at the University of California, said 400,000 deaths were avoidable through the widespread use of face coverings, social distancing, and testing in the run-up to a vaccine rollout, which began in December.
Former president Donald Trump was widely criticized for his response to the virus throughout 2020 by opponents and officials.
Mr Atekson said the former president allowed a “patch work” of restrictions across the US that caused deaths to “cruise control” throughout the pandemic.
Mr Trump was infamously mask averse and refused to order any national mandates on face coverings to fight Covid-19 — in spite of recommendations by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Mr Atkeson suggested that the final number of US deaths from Covid could reach 670,000, as vaccines continue to be delivered — but without any vaccines, he estimated that US deaths could have reached 1.27 million.