U.S COVID-19 cases nears 100 million amid looming 'tripledemic' – CGTN

Passengers on the platform before boarding their train at Union Station on November 22, 2022 in Washington DC, U.S. /CFP
COVID-19 cases in the U.S. are approaching 100 million as the country faces the looming “tripledemic” with other viruses of concern also spreading.
According to the latest data from U.S. Johns Hopkins, the U.S. has reported nearly 98.6 million COVID-19 cases and more than a million deaths since the pandemic broke out almost three years ago. The BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 are currently the dominant sub-variants that have caused 57 percent of the new infections in the U.S., according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Anthony Fauci, the U.S. top infectious disease expert noted the country is “certainly still in the middle of a COVID-19 pandemic” during an NBC TV show on Sunday.
He said about 300 to 400 people are dying from COVID-19 everyday in the U.S. but less than 15 percent people are taking vaccine boosters, which may indicate a potential new increase in the holiday season.
“As a public health official, I don’t want to see anyone suffer and die from COVID-19,” he said.
He was also “very troubled” by the divisive state of American politics. “I don’t care if you’re a far-right Republican or a far-left Democrat, everybody deserves to have the safety of good public health and that’s not happening.”
Hospitals crushed under ‘tripledemic’, delayed care for others
As Americans head into the holiday season, health experts anticipate that the country could see a fresh wave of respiratory illnesses as more people travel and gather indoors, while other previously-delayed patients couldn’t get their care in time.
Experts are concerned about the confluence of influenza, RSV and coronavirus, warning grim threats from a “tripledemic.”
“We’re facing an onslaught of three viruses: COVID, RSV, and influenza. All simultaneously,” William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University, was quoted by National Public Radio (NPR) as saying. “We’re calling this a tripledemic.”
The “tripledemic” is reportedly pushing some hospitals in the United States over the edge, as the country is struggling to address a shortage of pediatric beds, medical staff and even some medications.
“Our system is stretched to its limit and without immediate attention, the crisis will only worsen,” Mark Wietecha, CEO of the Children’s Hospital Association, said in a statement.
In states such as Utah and Colorado where vaccination rates are among the lowest of the country, hospitals are on the brink of activating a statewide crisis standards of care plan as COVID-19 patients are filling up intensive care units.
“We have all these COVID-positive patients, but we also have a lot of other patients that during our last major surge we weren’t seeing,” Dr. Michelle Barron, medical director of infection control and prevention at Colorado’s largest health system UCHealth told NPR.
Barron also warned that the backlog of patients and the staffing shortages have put its hospitals in a precarious position.
“Long-COVID”- led labour shortage and unemployment
The after-effect of the nearly-100-million COVID-19 infections is still causing chaos in the U.S. labor market as more studies and statistics confirmed that the pandemic persistently reduced labor supply.
An analysis from the National Bureau of Economic Research issued in September suggested that COVID-19 infections have reduced the U.S. labor force by approximately 500,000 people. That is, 0.2 percent of people of working age.
“COVID-19 illnesses persistently reduce labor supply. We estimate that workers with week-long work absences are seven percent less likely to be in the labor force one year later compared to otherwise-similar workers who do not miss a week of work for health reasons,” say the study’s authors, Gopi Shah Goda of Stanford University and Evan Soltas of Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Economics Department.
“Many who fall ill but survive COVID-19 suffer from enduring health problems … approximately 500,000 adults are neither working nor actively looking for work due to the persistent effects of COVID-19 illnesses,” the study adds.
Another study published last month by a D.C.-based research think tank, the Brookings Institution, estimated that as many as 2.4 million have missed work, are temporarily absent or are working reduced hours because of the lingering effects of the virus.
(With input from Xinhua)
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Copyright © 2020 CGTN. 京ICP备16065310号
Disinformation report hotline: 010-85061466
Copyright © 2020 CGTN. 京ICP备16065310号
Disinformation report hotline: 010-85061466