Jan 06, 2021
Public Citizen president Robert Weissman called Wednesday a "dark, dark day for America." He was understandably referring to the spectacle of an insurrectionary mob of fascists--egged on by President Donald Trump and abetted by Republican lawmakers--storming the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to undermine the democratic process that handed President-elect Joe Biden a legitimate and decisive Electoral College victory.
The violent invasion of the halls of Congress, however, coincided with another tragedy that unfolded relatively quietly nationwide: 3,865 Americans died from Covid-19 on Wednesday, surpassing the record high set one day earlier.
That brought the overall number of Covid-19 deaths in the nation to 361,453 people, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Wednesday's right-wing riots in Washington, D.C. and the federal government's disastrous pandemic response are linked, critics say, since both are products of decades of inequality-worsening "free-market" policies as well as Trump's catastrophic failure of leadership.
Yet, as Georgetown University political scientist Elizabeth Saunders pointed out, Trump's complete abdication of responsibility for the federal response to the coronavirus crisis was "not even on the radar."
\u201cI also can't stop thinking about how Trump completely abdicating all responsibility for federal Covid response is not even on the radar today.\u201d— Elizabeth N. Saunders (@Elizabeth N. Saunders) 1609985833
Instead, the deadliest day in U.S. history was overshadowed by a pro-Trump coup attempt, an assault on democracy instigated by the president himself.
Unfortunately, epidemiologists are warning that in the coming weeks, coronavirus infections and mortality are likely to intensify in the U.S., where 21,314,415 cases have been recorded as of press time.
According to the latest data from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, the country's total Covid-19 death count is projected to hit about 518,945 by February 7, while the daily death toll is expected to peak at roughly 5,490 on February 10.
That forecast is based on the assumptions that "vaccine distribution is scaled up over 90 days" and "governments do not re-impose mandates if cases increase," the IHME explains.
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