Story at a glance
- “Decisive, coordinated action is urgently needed to save lives, end the pandemic, restore America’s economy, and return our lives to normalcy,” the Association of American Medical Colleges said in a report.
- The AAMC released an 11-step plan the U.S. could adopt to mitigate the outbreak.
- The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation estimates 219,864 deaths by Nov. 1.
As the U.S. surpasses 150,000 coronavirus deaths since the outbreak first began late last year, deaths across the country could go well into the multiple hundreds of thousands if the nation does not soon change course on its response to the pandemic, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).
The nonprofit organization representing medical schools across the country outlined an 11-step plan in a report this week that the U.S. could adopt to help mitigate the outbreak that has infected more than 4 million Americans.
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“Decisive, coordinated action is urgently needed to save lives, end the pandemic, restore America’s economy, and return our lives to normalcy,” the report read. “It is critical that the United States takes a united approach to the pandemic.”
The AAMC’s plan includes addressing critical supply shortages, increasing availability and accessibility to testing, establishing national standards on face coverings and establishing and enforcing national criteria for local stay-at-home orders and reopening protocols. It also calls for national criteria for K-12 school reopenings and prioritizing now the distribution of a vaccine.
The association represents the accredited medical schools in the U.S. and 400 teaching hospitals.
While the AAMC did not say specifically how many more could die if the U.S. doesn’t change course in its coronavirus response, the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) estimates 219,864 deaths by Nov. 1.
“Despite working together as a nation to ‘flatten the curve,’ the United States is experiencing troubling new waves of infection,” the report said. “Instead of declining, the number of new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, especially among vulnerable groups and communities of color, are growing rapidly.”
The 150,000 mark in the U.S. comes as the coronavirus has claimed the lives of more than 660,000 people worldwide and infected nearly 17 million since the pandemic started. The U.S. currently leads the globe by a significant margin in the number of deaths and cases, followed by Brazil, India and Russia.
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