In “A Dose of Optimism, as the Pandemic Rages On,” science and health reporter Donald G. McNeil Jr. argued the coronavirus death toll in the U.S., standing at around 250,000, is far below the initial 2.2 million Americans initially projected to die by mid-October.
“Since January, when I began covering the pandemic, I have been a consistently gloomy Cassandra, reporting on the catastrophe that experts saw coming: that the virus would go pandemic, that Americans were likely to die in large numbers, the national lockdown would last well beyond Easter and even past summer. “
“No miracle cure was on the horizon; the record for developing a vaccine was four years,” McNeil wrote. “Events have moved faster than I thought possible. I have become cautiously optimistic.
The Times showed a chart from London’s Imperial College, which used a “sinuous blue line” to demonstrate what Dr. Deborah Birx called a “the blue mountain of deaths.”
McNeil argued the coronavirus death toll in the U.S. did not reach the 2.2 million marker because Americans’ behavior and attitudes toward combating the virus largely evolved over the past few months, as more people accept social distancing measures as the norm.
“In the day-to-day fights over reopening schools or bars, it is easy to forget that there was a time when the idea of canceling large public gatherings, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the N.C.A.A.’s March Madness basketball tournament , did not seem remotely necessary,” McNeil wrote.
“That there was a time when leading health officials said that only sick people and hospital workers needed to wear masks.”
Pharmaceutical treatments for the disease have expanded, as antiviral drug remdesivir and steroids such as dexamethasone have proven effective in treating the virus, and those hospitalized are less likely to die from the disease.
To avoid the pandemic from relapsing, he urged Americans to follow Fauci’s advice to “hunker down.”
He also wrote that vaccine skepticism must fade, and that Congress must act to make the vaccine available around the world, as well as helping Americans recover economically from the virus.
It is probably the hardest thing for the Times to accept the truth about the Virus and realize that they can no longer milk this thing.