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COVID-19 negatively impacts American lives. As of Feb. 22, 2021, at 4:23 p.m. EST, the U.S. death toll reached 500,176. The country has lost more lives to the virus in one year than its total civilian and military deaths during WWII — USA Today declares, “this is our generation’s D-Day.”
When the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus a pandemic on March 11, 2020, 29 people in the U.S. had died, and the WHO director called for everyone to work together. Yet, within the past year, the global community appears to have failed at unity in fighting against COVID-19.
Misinformation Proliferation Responsible
Misinformation is likely the largest component that led the United States to have the highest COVID-19 deaths and infections globally.
In November 2020, a team of researchers at Oregon State University (OSU) conducted a national and local survey about beliefs surrounding the virus.
The OSU team states their findings mimic Pew Research. Nearly 40 percent of those surveyed contend COVID-19 is no worse than the flu. Equally disturbing is one-quarter of the respondents think the virus is likely a hoax. Those who perpetrate these ideas also identify as Republican or stated their politics lean to the right.
Former-President Donald Trump perpetuated the misinformation using his administration to push the idea that media outlets that reported against his claims were spreading fake news. He sidelined health officials who tried to contradict his anti-science, anti-COVID-19 agenda.
To be fair, in the beginning of the pandemic scientists and health officials in the United States did seem to offer contradictory information; masks not necessary vs masks should be mandatory. Deaths from the flu and COVID-19 seemed similar.
But, as the pathogen that causes COVID-19 further invaded the country, previously stated data was revised and updated as needed. The original information seems to be stuck in the endless loop on social media and prevalent among science-deniers posts.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
NBC News: U.S. reaches 500,000 deaths from the coronavirus; by Daniel Arkin
CNN: The US is about to top 500,000 Covid-19 deaths. That’s why it’s critical to keep up safety measures, Fauci says
CNN: As 500,000th Covid death looms, US reaches pivotal moment; by Stephen Collinson
USA Today: ‘This is our generation’s D-Day’: As US nears 500,000 COVID-19 deaths, weary health care workers fight on amid the heartbreak; by Jorge L. Ortiz
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Stephan Ridgway’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Ampersand72’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License