COVID-19 pandemic in the US

Ed Yong made a prediction before the pandemic: How a Pandemic Might Play Out Under Trump.

The US’s initial response to the pandemic has been terrible. The New England Journal of Medicine published an unusual editorial that points out the leadership vacuum. Obama administration created a pandemic response team as well as a Playbook for Early Response to High-Consequence Emerging Infectious Disease Threats and Biological Incidents. The team was largely disbanded and reallocated by the Trump administration. Of course, it is a complex problem and the administration may not be responsible for every single failure2. Still, the risk has been repeatedly predicted (see this Twitter thread) and they were undermined.

It is most likely true, as in other epidemics, that there were numerous hidden outbreaks even before the first confirmed cases in each state. In the emerging epidemic, swift action is crucial. A small difference in timing can produce drastically different results1.

The reach of COVID-19 deaths has been estimated (Verdery2020tracking).

“V-shaped recovery” was expected by many in the financial market. However, as expected by most epidemiologists and many scientists, the v-shaped discovery happened for the number of cases right after the re-opening.

The pandemic is likely exacerbating the inequality (Perry2021pandemic). Klein2023COVID 19 shows racial disparities in the incarceration.

  1. Former CDC head: New York death toll might be 80 percent lower if social distancing was enacted 2 weeks earlier