US could have prevented 40% of COVID-19 deaths: Report

The United States could have averted 40% of the deaths from coronavirus, had the country’s death rates corresponded with the rates in other high-income G7 countries, according to a Lancet commission tasked with assessing Donald Trump’s health policy record.

The commission condemned Trump’s response to pandemic, but emphasised that the country entered the pandemic with a degraded public health infrastructure, The Guardian reported.

Between 2002 and 2019, US public health spending fell from 3.21% to 2.45% – approximately half the share of spending in Canada and the UK.

To determine how many deaths from coronavirus the US could have avoided, the commission weighted the average death rate in the other G7 countries – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the UK – and compared it to the US death rate.

Dr Mary T Bassett, a commission member and director of Harvard University’s FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, told the Guardian: “The US has fared so badly with this pandemic, but the bungling can’t be attributed only to Mr Trump, it also has to do with these societal failures … That’s not going to be solved by a vaccine.”

At least 3,252 new coronavirus deaths and 94,855 new cases were reported in the United States on Feb. 10. Over the past week, there has been an average of 104,554 cases per day, a decrease of 36 percent from the average two weeks earlier.

As of Thursday morning, more than 27,328,400 people in the United States have been infected with the coronavirus according to a New York Times database.