It must be hard for the public to gauge the COVID-19 situation in the U.S. The rates at which cases and deaths rise each day has slowed. Vaccines are in the early stages of distribution, but much of the U.S. has not been vaccinated. And, questions have arisen about how long people need to social distance and wear masks persist as infections drop and vaccinations rise.
It is well to remember that over 500,000 Americans have died of COVID-19, a mind numbing number–more than the figure of American combatants who died in WWI, WWII, and the Vietnam War combined. And deaths continue to rise at over 1,000 most days. The U.S. death number is 20% of the world’s total.
Another lingering question is how many people have actually been infected. The official figure is about 28 million. Some epidemiologists believe the number is double that because of low rates of testing and asymptomatic carriers.
Additionally, the rate of vaccinations has been slow, particularly based on forecasts by the Trump Administration in December. At this point only about 14% of American adults have been given at least one dose of vaccine. Less than 7% have been given the two shots necessary to be fully inoculated. These are the states getting the most vaccine from the federal government.
Against these backdrops, the new CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky expressed concern about public trends.