The response to the Covid pandemic has been particularly challenging in America. The avid virus has claimed over 710,000 lives and around 1 in 50 Americans who have contracted Covid-19 have died – one of the highest death rates in the world.
First world countries, like America, are often defined by prosperity, democracy and stability. However; Covid-19 has effectively erased the ideas of ‘First’ and ‘Third’ world political and economic competence. The failure of quickly tackling the pandemic was ultimately political because; although, America does have an abundant net worth - low vaccination rates, the inability to follow social distancing rules and confusing political guidelines have led to the current high death rates.
The US is the only rich, ‘first world’ country with no national health system but over the past 2 weeks, things have managed to turn for the better. Reported Covid-19 cases have been reduced by 22% and hospitalisations have decreased by 20%. The pace of deaths has also slowed. For example, in Florida, the rate of deaths has fallen from a peak of 400 to 200 a day.
Despite multiple celebrities and politicians, ranging from Letitia Wright to Candace Owns, coming out of the woodwork to express their various anti-vax views, the US is involved in a massive effort to vaccinate the majority of its population against Covid-19. President Joe Biden included $15 billion to support vaccine manufacturing and distribution. This has been quite successful with over 187 million people or 56.6% of the total population being fully vaccinated against the virus. Covid-19 vaccines have received and continue to undergo the most intensive safety monitoring in US history. They are effective as they can keep you from getting and spreading the virus; they also help keep you from getting seriously ill if you do contract the virus. Due to the Covid-19 vaccine, the economy is recovering. Protecting individuals from the hospitalisation of the vaccine lowers health care costs for recuperating Americans. Rising vaccination rates coincide with job prospects. Consumers are more confident to return back to physical spaces which mean workers also go back to the workforce. This results in consumer spending increasing which helps get the economy back to normal again. Covid-19 has suppressed aggregate demand and the vaccine attempts to reverse this. From offices to restaurants, employees are returning back to the office with the majority of companies requiring proof of vaccination. Going back to in-person child education is a vital goal to balance the achievement gaps between high and low-income students and also allow parents to return to the workforce. In the second quarter of 2021, GDP returned to its pre-pandemic level.
Written by Chanel Enow
Research compiled by Louis-Daniel Oloyede