The US has had the fifth worst response to the Covid pandemic in the world, a think tank has claimed.
The Lowy Institute ranked nearly 100 countries on their management of the global crisis after their hundredth confirmed case.
The US came 94th out of 98, followed only by Iran, Colombia, Mexico and Brazil in last place in the study by the Lowy Institute.
To date, the US has recorded 25.6million cases and 429,125 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins Institute.
Both figures are the highest of any country in the world, with India registering the next highest total infections with 10.7million, and Brazil the second most deaths with 220,000. Measured per million, the US has the eighth highest death toll in the world.
New Zealand was ranked as the world’s most effective handler, recording only 25 deaths and 2,295 cases.
Vietnam came in second place in the Loy Institute study with a population of 70million, followed by Taiwan, Thailand, Cyprus, and Rwanda.
The US has attracted criticism throughout the pandemic, particularly with Donald Trump’s dismissal of the virus as a ‘flu’ in its early stages.
The US has had the fifth worst response to the Covid pandemic in the world, a think tank has claimed
Lowy Institute’s Covid-19 Rankings
New Zealand VietnamTaiwanThailandCyprusRwandaIcelandAustraliaLatviaSri Lanka
94. United States
Even after he contracted the virus and was treated in hospital, Trump said ‘many people’ die every year from the flu, adding: ‘Are we going to close down our country?
‘No, we have learned to live with it, just like we are learning to live with Covid, in most populations far less lethal!!!’
Flu deaths have averaged between 12,000 and 61,000 each year in the last decade in the US.
The worst performing country was Brazil, with over 8.9million cases and over 200,000 deaths to date.
The research discovered that structural factors such as an advanced economy or political system did not give countries an advantage.
Lowy Institute researcher Ms Leng told The Australian: ‘The results basically show that neither democracies nor authoritarian states did better than the other.’
The Lowy Institute found a lot of ‘quiet achievers’ outperformed in their pandemic management.
Countries with a population of less than 10million generally came out on top, the data suggests.
Ms Leng said: ‘In general, countries with smaller populations, cohesive societies and capable institutions have a comparative advantage in dealing with a global crisis such as a pandemic.’
The Lowy Institute’s study measured key indicators including confirmed cases, deaths, cases per million people, deaths per million people and cases a proportion of tests.
China was not included because none of its testing rates are publicly available.
The findings come as Dr Anthony Fauci warned that getting the vaccination doesn’t give people a ‘free pass to travel’ as health officials announced the full inoculation of 3.8 million Americans.
Throughout the pandemic, Trump played down the severity of the coronavirus even while his own experts were urging him to take it seriously.
Top Trump administration officials like Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and trade adviser Peter Navarro reportedly sounded the alarm about a pandemic reaching American shores as early as late January, but the former president failed to heed the warnings.
On February 25, just weeks before much of the country was forced to shut down because of the pandemic, Trump declared the virus ‘very well under control in our country’.
Critics said the valuable time that was lost could have been used to ramp up testing as well as provide medical professionals adequate supplies of personal protective equipment in order to better deal with the pandemic.
In fact, US officials recommended against widespread mask wearing until April in part because of a shortage of protective masks required by front-line medical workers.
Trump has also been criticized for mixed messaging – touting social distancing and preventative measures on the one hand but then urging his supporters to ‘liberate’ states through mass demonstrations on the other, and rarely wearing a face mask.
The then president also made comments that prompted mockery and scorn from the public, including his suggestion that cleaning disinfectants could be ingested into the body in order treat the virus.
Trump, for his part, has claimed that his decision to shut down travel from China saved lives, though the administration has allowed flights from China carrying American citizens and legal residents to continue landing in the country.
President Joe Biden has made the pandemic his number one priority in office and has already set goals to increase the vaccination rollout in a bid to slow the rampaging virus.
He announced Monday that he thinks the US could give more than 1.5million vaccinations a day, upping his original plans for 1million per day
Currently, the US is vaccinating 1.27 million people a day on average. Supply could be the biggest hurdle to reaching and maintaining Biden’s goal of vaccinating 1.5 million people a day.
Collectively, Moderna and Pfizer have promised to supply 200 million doses by the end of March.
About 20.7 million have received at least one dose of the vaccine. About 3.8 million people have been fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
More than 25.5 million infections have been reported in the US since the start of the pandemic
The nation’s top infectious disease expert appeared on a CNN Global Town Hall hosted by Anderson Cooper and Dr Sanjay Gupta when he answered a viewer’s question about when immunity begins after receiving the vaccine.
Retired nurse, Carole Gardner, explained to Fauci that she and her husband haven’t been able to travel to see their grandchildren. She explained that she and her husband will receive the second dose of the Moderna vaccine on February 19.
‘When will we have immunity and when will we be able to travel?’ Gardner asks.
In response, Fauci said: ‘The maximum immunity begins about 10 days to two weeks and beyond following the second dose… That would give you about a 94-95 per cent efficacy and a good safety profile.’
However, Fauci warned that it’s ‘not a good idea to travel, period’.
Dr Anthony Fauci warned Wednesday that getting the COVID-19 vaccination doesn’t give people a ‘free pass to travel’
On Wednesday evening, motorists were still lined up for COVID-19 vaccinations and testing in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles
‘We don’t want people to think because they got vaccinated that other public health recommendations just don’t apply,’ he continued.
‘So getting vaccinated does not say now I have a free pass to travel, nor does it say that I have a free pass to put aside all of the public health measures that we talk about all the time,’ Fauci said.
Meanwhile, hundreds of motorists were seen lining up on Wednesday evening to get vaccinated at the Dodger Stadium in hard-hit Los Angeles. More than 1 million cases have been reported in Los Angeles County and at least 15,897 people have died.
His remarks came just a day after Johnson and Johnson announced that it will likely publish results from phase three trials of its one-shot coronavirus vaccine next week.
Its vaccine is cheaper and easier to store and transport which, along with the fact that it requires just one dose, could help speed the painstakingly slow US vaccine rollout.
The 100 million doses Johnson & Johnson has pledged to the US would increase the US supply by about 25 per cent.
President Joe Biden’s own COVID-19 response team admitted however that it will be months before everyone who wants a vaccine can get one, and that ‘we will run into unanticipated issues,’ in the rollout, said Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Andy Slavitt.
Earlier on Wednesday, drivers were seen waiting in line at the mega COVID-19 vaccination site that was set up in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium
Vaccinations began five weeks ago, but just 6.2 per cent of the US population have gotten their first doses of either Pfizer’s or Moderna’s two-dose vaccines. That comes to about 20.7 million having received at least one dose of the vaccine.
About 3.8 million people have been fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Dozens of precious doses of the two vaccines have been wasted because no one could be found to take them before they spoiled, or due to careless errors like freezers getting unplugged.
Johnson & Johnson’s simpler single-dose shot could be a massive help to solve some of these issues. It has a contract with the US for at least one million doses, and has pledged to distribute a billion doses globally this year.
Fauci said that Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine is being tested on the highly infectious ‘super-covid’ variants from South Africa and Brazil.
But even if its results are positive, the FDA is not expected to clear the vaccine for emergency use until March, raising questions over why there must be an agonizing month-long delay.