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Trump Won't Get Credit, but the U.S. Will Be The First Western Nation to Crush COVID

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Over at Asia Times, I report that the Europeans now think America will be the first Western country to eliminate COVID-19. By midyear more than two-thirds of Americans will have resistance to the virus due to either vaccination or past infection, enough to achieve herd immunity. Europe by contrast can’t get its act together. East Asia controlled the virus by other means but will remain vulnerable to future outbreaks.

That’s due in large part to Operation Warp Speed. Donald Trump will never get the credit he deserves for this.

An excerpt from the article appears below (follow the link to read the whole report at Asia Times).

US likely to be first Western nation to crush Covid-19

Combination of vaccination and past infection may immunize two-thirds of population by mid-2021

Uwe Parpart and David P. Goldman

Europe’s bungled rollout of coronavirus vaccines makes it likely that the United States will be the first big Western nation to eliminate the COVID-19 pandemic, German immunologists told Asia Times in interviews this week. Although Germany showed much lower infection and mortality rates during the first wave of the pandemic in the Spring of 2020, Europe’s failure to source and distribute vaccine on a scale sufficient to dent the pandemic gives the United States a clear lead.

The US is vaccinating its population at three times the rate of France and Germany, according to the Our World in Data website. The only country acting faster is the United Kingdom, with a daily vaccination rate of 0.5 doses per 100 people.

A combination of vaccination and past infection may immunize two-thirds of America’s population against the virus by the middle of 2021, one German virologist explained. That should be sufficient to give America “herd immunity,” slowing the future spread of the virus to very low levels.With 25 million confirmed cases and over 150,000 new cases per day, the United States will have more than 50 million inhabitants with resistance to the virus due to past exposure. The US has vaccinated 20 million people in under four weeks, and at the present rate of 6 million vaccinations per week, an additional 170 million Americans will be resistant by the end of the second quarter of this year. By that projection, 220 million of America’s 330 million inhabitants, or two thirds of the total, will be resistant, and America will achieve herd immunity.

Virologists believe that  “herd immunity” will be achieved when somewhere between 43% and 60% of the population becomes resistant to COVID-19.

This advantage, to be sure, came at a high price. America has had 1,300 deaths per 1 million inhabitants during the past year, exceed only by the UK (at 1,471 deaths), Italy (at 1,431 deaths), and Belgium (at 1,791 deaths) among the major industrial countries. And the US has the highest proportion of confirmed cases per population of any large country. The high rate of past exposure contributes to future immunity.