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Thousands of Lives, Millions of Masks, Billions of Dollars

Wondering how politics plays into the pandemic? Read more about the United States’ actions (and inactions) for addressing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic here.

Image from CNN Politics 

200,000 lives. September 22nd marked 200,000 lives documented to be lost to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States alone. Globally, 31,364,008 individuals have been infected and 965,691 lives have been lost to a pandemic that shook the world by surprise. Officials from the Trump Administration, including Donald Trump himself, have been boasting about their mitigation efforts in “preventing” a second wave. Let’s take a look at some of the actions at the U.S. government has taken so far to  help “prevent” a second wave: 

The Pentagon’s Wish List

Earlier this year, Congress passed the $3 trillion CARES Act, which provided economic assistance to families and small businesses while working to preserve jobs and American industries. Among many components, the CARES act provided $1 billion in funding to the Pentagon to procure medical technologies and assist the United States in supplying medical necessities (masks, ventilators, etc) to hospitals and institutions in dire need of supplies: a matter of life and death. Nevertheless, the Pentagon used taxpayer money — 1,000,000,000 in taxpayer dollars that is — to fulfill their own shopping lists, buying everything from Army dress uniform fabric to airplane parts. Not exactly what the United States needed to prevent the second wave, right? Read more about the Pentagon’s wish list here

A USPS Plan Butchered

In addition, the United States Postal Service, or USPS, has been a hot topic of conversation for the past few months, especially given their ever-increasing role in the 2020 United States Elections. This past week revealed to us that the USPS had plans to distribute 650 million face masks  in April to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic — you can probably guess what happens next. A potentially life-saving action that would have provided protective gear to hundreds of millions of Americans was blocked by the Trump Administration in order to avoid “creating panic.” 

With top-level officials in the United States government struggling to understand the value of American lives, the race to uncover safe and effective vaccines and treatments for COVID-19 faces more pressure. Trump may be boasting about vaccine development under his administration’s watch, but the truth is, nobody knows what the data will reveal in upcoming months. Not even Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases.

So no, Donald Trump, you did not stop the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. That is why activists at Free the Vaccine for COVID-19 and other organizations around the world are fighting to make sure that everyone can access a vaccine to end this pandemic, a pandemic that has taken almost one million lives from us.

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