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People's Daily Online

U.S. in COVID-19 complacency as threat returns: report

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 09:16, June 17, 2022

NEW YORK, June 16 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. COVID-19 pandemic response has become mild-mannered and performative, backed by neither money, urgency, nor enforcement, reported Kaiser Health News (KHN) on Wednesday.

Congress has failed to approve more spending for free testing, treatments, and vaccines. Local governments lifted mandates and many people have stopped wearing masks, even in crowded indoor spaces, according to the report.

Two-thirds of those who waited in line for hours to receive their initial vaccinations seem less willing to walk into a pharmacy to get a free booster, leaving themselves more susceptible to the Omicron variants, said KHN.

Tired of policing, many, if not most, stores and workplaces have dropped their mask mandates, even during local COVID-19 surges. "Where they're in place, they're often poorly enforced," it noted.

"Already the toll of this collective complacency is clear: in January and February, people who'd been 'fully vaccinated' accounted for more than 40 percent of COVID-19 deaths," said the report.

One million Americans have died from COVID-19, far more per capita than in any other developed country. Meanwhile, a new variant is doubling case rates in some states, and more than 300 people are dying a day, it added.

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