Since our last update on the costs associated with COVID-19 in May, new variants have swept across the country, booster shots have been recommended for most vaccine recipients, and inoculations have been approved for children as young as 5 years old. Americans are still struggling from unexpected pandemic-related healthcare costs.
Major systemic failures to meaningfully address the coronavirus pandemic throughout 2020 had dire consequences that the nation and the world are still recovering from. The U.S. contains only 4% of the world’s population, but 20% of global cases and deaths from the pandemic. As many as 40% of American deaths in the first year of the pandemic were avoidable. While former President Trump is responsible for his administration’s promotion of misinformation, silencing experts, and interference in fact-based public health guidance, these failures were exacerbated by decades of disinvestment and structural deficiencies in the public health system.