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The Healing American Healthcare Podcast
The Healing American Healthcare Podcast

Episode 4 · 2 years ago

The COVID-19 Pandemic - Which Countries Protected Their Residents Best?

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Ed Eichhorn and John Dalton compare and rate multiple countries' individual efforts to protect their residents. We see who fared the best with updated statistics on COVID mitigation within the last 6 months of 2020. 


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... at the healing American healthcare coalition, and our last podcast was so popular that we thought it would be a good idea to update the data for the OECD nations at year's end. So I'm very happy to have invited back my co host John Dalton to join us once again. And for those of you who are not familiar with John's extensive and successful background, let me share a little bit of what John Has Accomplished in his career. John is a senior advisor emeritus at the best their group and he's the executive director of our healing American healthcare coalition. He's also the former Chapter President and national board member for the Health Finance Management Association and he was honored in two thousand one with the Morgan Award for the Association for Lifetime achievement in healthcare financial management. He also serves on the Financial Committee at Children's Specialized Hospital and was named the hospital trustee of the year in two thousand and seventeen by the New Jersey Hospital Association. So it's my great pleasure once again to introduce my friend and colleague John Dalton thank you add for the goally introduction that we just finished our first year of publishing the three minute read covering issues of interest in busy physicians and other clinicians where we get twice a month summarize articles that are relevant than of interest. And of course, in two thousand and twenty the predominant interests was dealing with the pandemic. So although we also talked about things like universal healthcare and physician burnout and some of those other issues, most of what we covered in the twenty issues that we published in two thousand and twenty related to the pandemic. A lot of our focus was our member nations of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and development of those thirty seven countries that constitute the developed world, but we also look at other countries as we dealt with the surge and coronavirus as it moved through the world. This is kind of year end recap and reflection on what work, what didn't work, too did well, who did not well, and our general thing is what countries best protected their residence. So let's start by looking at some of the timeline of the pandemic and then we'll go into what the various countries did. Back in the Sammer two thousand and nineteen, a lot of the epidemiologists and public health officers were seeing some online chatter about a very strange and mysterious pneumonia type disease that was emanating in Mouhan, China. As we know, by January nine two thousand and twenty, the World Health Organization announced this disease and that it was emanating from who had China. So that was promo recognition of the novel coronavirus. In January twenty one, a Washington state resident who was returning from the line tested positive for covid nineteen.

He was the first American to be tested positive for the disease, although looking back, there's a great deal of evidence that in the summer two thousand and nineteen the coronavirus already was hitting folks here in the United States. The Centers for disease control the prevention the CDC, then deployed a team to help investigating what was going on in Washington. On January thirty the World Health Organization declared a public health emergency and we here in the US followed our February third. By march eleven, W the World Health Organization declared covid nineteen a pandemic, a global pandemic, and the US followed with the declaration of a national emergency on march thirteen. So we were deep into it at that point in time and, as you know, New Jersey shut down shortly there after, New York Metro area, et Cetera. So fast forward to the end of the year and by year end more than twenty million confirmed cases in America and three in or forty six thousand deaths from covid nineteen. Just an unprecedented basically slaughter from the disease. Worldwide, more than one point eight million folks died from covid nineteen, and they're eighty four million cases. So the US constituted about nineteen percent of the worldwide totals for both confirmed cases and debts. So our review here focuses primarily on the thirty seven member nations of the OECD, but we also look at other countries and how well or ill they did in protecting their residents from the infection. The conclusion identifies those countries that, during the course of two thousand and twenty is some president of a year, have done the best job of protecting their residents. So let's start by looking at where we were in mid year. So these are twenty of the o ECD countries, but as of June thirty, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, the Slovak Republic, which would have fitted in right here between South Korea and Japan, and Japan led the OECD in terms of low fatality rates. Population Wise, the United States, Japan and Germany the three most populous countries on this chart, and unfortunately the country of the highest fatality rate is Belgium. Will talk about that in a moment. At June thirty the US was thirty one out of thirty seven in fatality rates. It was trailed by France, Sweden, Italy, Spain, the UK and Belgium in the basement, at the bottom of the barrel, with the highest fatality rate in the old CD, eighty five, point one one hundred thousand residents. Belgium got off to a poor start in dealing with the coronavirus. Basically, they ignored of folks who are in their care homes. Care Homes in Europe by the equivalent of our assistant living as, still nursing facilities here at the US essentially as covid nineteen spread throughout their care homes. In many instances they were instructing their...

...ambulances not even to bring these ill patients to hospitals. And an example of other audacity, the government had the goal at this point in time to say we dealt well with the coronavirus. At no point where our I see us ever full. To me that's just an appalling statement. Anyhow, among the other countries, the Scandinavian countries. Keep looking at Norway, Finland Denmark. You'll see them through some of these charts. Sweden, among the Scandinavian countries, took a different approach and again, like Belgium, they got off to a full start that has kept them at the top of the charts ever since. Sweden decided to trust its people, confined folks to their care homes so the disease wouldn't spread there. They deny it now, but it was an ill fated attempt to establish herd immunity, and you've heard that term here in the US also. But as a result, while Norriy, Finland, Denmark and Iceland, the tiny the Leceland have done well, as you'll see you over the course of the pandemic, Sweden has been in the bottom quintile, along with the US, among the major Western democracies. Germany right best at this point, with a fatality rate of ten point eight four hundred. They don't and we covered that in three minute read with a good article that described why Germany had succeeded. For those who you work not aware oncle a Mercle, their chancellor is a scientist, so there was from the get go there was a scientist running the response to covid nineteen, not a politician. Jeremany has a very well established universal healthcare system. They got a robust hospital system and they're strong and public health, so they were able to react positively to the coronavirus and keep the fatality rate manageable. Fast forward to year in. Let's see what they look like in the final six months of two thousand and twenty. Here we are again at December thirty one. Once again, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan and Australia doing well, although Australia moved from first place to fourth place, or to don't see here. As the Slovak Republic, and we'll get to them on the next slide. They had a big spike in the form on the right hand side. Again, US still is thirty feet out of thirty seven and in this case trailed by Spain, the Czech Republic, UK Italy, Slovenia and Belgium. Belgium still at the top of the chart with a fatality rate about hundred and seventy hundred thousand. Keep that one hundred and seventy in nine because when we look at some of the state data for the US will remind you of that number. Even Germany was hit hard by the fall surge, and here they are in fourteen place with the fatality rate of forty point two PO thousand, just ahead of Canada. So here in this middle part of the chart you get several countries that are doing a recently good job. I would give them a B or be minus of our college professor squashing coronavirus. Ireland is also here, my home...

...country. So here, if we look just at Europe, the European members the OLYCD, here's Norway with best in class. Their fatality rated here end was eight point two for a hundred thousand, the lowest in Europe. At June thirty it was a Slovak Republic. That was the lowest in Europe. So what happened? One of the things we looked at was central Europe, because when I did an update in November it was clear that something had happened on the European continent. Here's the eleven weeks between September twenty, when I wrote an article for Guarden, say, focus, and November thirty when they into part three article. Those are the two publishers deadlines. So that's why you see the eleven weeks here in all of the many of the major European countries. This is what you call spike. Slovakia you can't really see the spike. there. is where Slovakia was at, the Slovakia Republic at June thirty and here they are at December thirty. One, still reasonably under control, but as a twenty times increase in the fatality rate between June thirty and November thirty, that five month period. The check we felt that that's a fifteen times increase. Even Switzerland, which has a very robust health care system, strong public health, so an increase. Germany, which generally has done the best of the major Western democracies, also saw an increase in tenterry. Now, why is this for Central Europe? Well, as we all know, when in August the Europe usually shuts down. WHAT DO PEOPLE DO? They go south to places like Spain, Portugal. They'll leave Greece to rest, relax, recuperate from the tough winter. What happened when they came back? What they bring with them the novel coronavirus, Covid Nineteen. So that's why we're seeing real spikes in the fall, even though countries like Germany and the Czech Republic cancel of October fest. Something like that never happens. That's I canceled the Super Bowl. But they so also spikes. Then they looked at northern Europe. Between June three thousand and twelve and thirty one northern Europe would be the five scan and anything countries, Norway, Iceland, Finland, Denmark, the Sweden and the three Baltic states, back to the Lithuania and Estonia. So we're seeing some of the same kind of full surges. But again Norway, Iceland, Finland, icens small, only three fozero people. But Norway, Iceland and Finland have done a very fine job of controlling the coronavirus. On the far right, with Lithuania, has had a major spike, ass has Latvia and of course, their Sweden as the outwier. And incredibly, Sweden's leaders claim success, like Belgium's did in can adding the pandemic, and they blame their high death rate on poor elder care and not their misguided attempt to achieve her munity. Actually, the minister health denies that they were trying to build her immunity. We also looked at the common will fundat and did you want to comment on that? Your you follow the commonal fund quite closely. For the last thirty years, the Commonwealth phone has looked at...

...the same eleven high income countries with respect to their quality of care and they spend an enormous amount of time interviewing physicians and citizens of these countries in five areas related to access of care, administration of care, outcomes and things of that nature. And just as a reference point, in the last study that was done of these five characteristics, the United States came out last among these eleven nations in their normal survey in terms of the quality of care in the items that I just mentioned. So when you look at this chart, it follows the data that John has been presenting relatively closely, because you can see that some of the nations that he normally charts are part of this grouping. So you see that Canada and Germany and New Zealand are part of this, as well as the United Kingdom, and you see the same data match that at the John pointed out in the slides of another collection of OECD nations and I think it's just a another measure of how high wealth nations have done in dealing with the challenges of the COVID pandemic. Yeah, it as that points out, the Commonwealth Fund has been following. Again, they tend to focus on the OECD, which is the developed world, but they're the subset that they have continued to follow is the eleven high income countries. Are clearly that in their two thousand and eleven report. They do this about every two to three years and report on a most recent one is the one that's on the chart. Is from two thousand and nineteen January, two thousand and nineteen prior to the pandemic. That's where they looked at the USLF care from a global perspective and concluded we get hot higher spending with horse outcomes. That's pretty much consistent what they said in their two thousand and eleven study, which was where they determined that the US from produces high course care of mediocre quality. Consistently, the US has been at the bottom of the barrel among the high income countries. refreshingly, here we're next to the last. The UK actually has exceeded us in not protecting the population well from the coronavirus. But looking at the chart here again you got the New Zealand or Australia doing a good job, although it is mentioned earlier, Australia did see a bit of a spike in August and September in New South Wales US and again it's a lesson in terms of what happens when you the politics take over public health. Australia's initial response governmentally was very strong like New Zealand's. Not Quite as successful in New Zealand's but as they flattened the curved New South Wales, which were a conservative government, started loosen up restrictions and much more southern rest of the country. Now there's two major cities in Australia, Sydney and Melbourne, and New South Wales, both about five million people with the metropolitan area around them. Melbourne...

...was showing a huge spike and they actually ended up having to shut down the entire province and closed borders until they got it back under control again. Here again we see Germany and our near north neighbor Canada getting a being minors grade in terms of how they dealing with the coronavirus, and then these short starts to Spike Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, France, the US and the UK. It reinforces the tale who've been telling on some of the prior slides. So now let's drill down on US performance a look at some of our states over the course of the pandemic and, as all of us know, it was the New York menter area that got hit hard at first, along with Louisiana with Marty Brod. So here is where several of the states were at June thirty, mid year, and again at the far right it's Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and this is the only chart where you actually see New York City, because it's it's high fatality rate was probably the highest in the world at this point because it had been hit so hard. This is the only chart where you actually see the New York City on the chart. At that point we had played Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan. We're not far behind again. Why? Well, Louisiana. We mentioned Marty ground. Every everybody want to Marty graph. You're on Bourbon Street from Marty Ar. You likely got the novel coronavirus home with you. But in the northeast during February, two point two million people returned from Europe through Kennedy, La Guardia And York airports. And what they bring with them? Covid nineteen. So we saw. From mid March through early May it was hell on wheels in the New York Metro area. Are Hospital or overwhelmed the we all remember the the hospital ship coming up the Huston River. Fortunately that never really have to be used. But then they were building search facilities in the Javits Center and the Central Park to handle the overflow of patients. The Sun Belt States, Texas, California, Florida, Georgia had not yet begun to show any real spike. I keep Washington noise charge because that's the state that first got hit with the coronavirus. You remember the all the breaking news at that Kirkland, Washington nursing home. Washington has a very robust healthcare system the strong commitment of public health. So I keep them on here as a reminder of what you can do when your hit hard early. So next up, let's look at these sent some of these same states at year end. So here we are. Here is Washington at the left side of the chart, and now you're starting to see a lot of the sun belt states got hit during the summer of the surge, and so Florida, Texas, Arizona and now showing significant increases of fatality. Rings still at the right hand side of the...

...chart, or the northeastern station to the New York Metro area with higher fatalities. But one all of the sudden shows up on this chart, South Dakota and North Dakota. Why are they on the chart? Well, each year the small town of surge sturges, south Dakode, of population seventh aousand, hosts a motorcycle rally. This year they refused to to the motorcycle rally and ran from August seven to sixteen and, as usual, brought in about five hundred thousand visitors. Bars were fold folks who are socializing without masks and then they went home. Where they go home, to places by guy to home, Montana, Minnesota, north and South Dakota, Iowa. And what do they bring with them? At bought the coronavirus. So here's Iowa showing a significant increase in Interrataliaris. Interesting this. So yesterday that North and South Dakota must have gotten a message because they are currently in the top five states in terms of rates of getting people vaccinated. So they are vaccinating their population, but meantime they they get jumped right into the boat with us here in the northeast in terms of high fatality leaves. So the litigation measures work. Here's clear proof that they do. We got hit hard early. Hospitalization peak from mid March through early mate. In March and April, if you were admitted to a hospital in the New York Metropolon area with Colvid Nineteen, it was a twenty five percent likelihood that you would die from the disease. As Commissians learned more and more about the disease and how to treated, that rate now has been driven down to about six percent. So instead of one and four, one of sixteen. I can recall vividly at in March. In April the medical directors of the North Jersey hospitals were having morning conference calls, sharing data, sharing information. What works? What has it work? And this chart really shows how well it worked. What I've shown here are the fatality rates as of the end of June for the five states and for the country. So at the end of June the fatality rate countrywide was thirty nine four hundred thousand. Here are the fatality rates at year end. The country had gone up over a hundred one od five. In the US the fatality rate for thevet months was sixty six point four New York state, the Governor Colombo's leadership, twenty point six New York's New York City, about double. New York took a regional approach and that seemed to work pretty well if you look at the results. But that last six months of two thousand and twenty the fatality rate only increased by thirteen percent New Jersey and Connecticut. Thirty point nine percent increase, eighteen percent from New Jersey, twenty six percent for Connecticut. Of the five states, Massachusetts had the highest fatality during the last six months.

So which countries protected their residents best? We'll go back to look at the world. Fortunately we had a real expert pick them out for us. Dr Thomas Frieden was CDC Director of two thousand and nineteen to two thousand and seventeen and on January second his article in the Wall Street Journal gave us the real data. So let's look at it. Dr Frieden's choices. Now he was directed the CDC during the Abo outbreak and led the worldwide response to a bowl which was successful. His article was in title which countries are responded best to Covid nineteen, and he picked countries in several different categories. will go through them one by one. Obviously the top of his heat was New Zealand, best at crushing the curve. New Zealand has fewer ice you bed's for capita than most of the OLYCD it's about half what Italy had. And so how Italy got buried early on. So they understood early on that they had to be very aggressive in protecting their residence from covid nineteen. They went into a strict lockdown and March they closed their border and they got rid of the disease. So well covid nineteen. There were cases in New Zealand. They actually went a hundred and two days without any community spread, which meant there was no covid nineteen cases in New Zealand. Now that didn't last because this is a this is a very difficult virus to deal with and August outbreak in Oakland required a second, but more localized lock down. So more than just flattening the cur New Zealand actually eliminated the coronavirus, and Kudos for them. That the best, that early action. Taiwan. Taiwan is just the course the Straits of Formosa, from China so close ties. Their population is Chinese, many of them the left Communist China. To Margaret. It was then foremost and now Taiwan. So when travelers began arriving from wo hand with a mysterious virus, they quickly hold to flights coming in from China. They quarantine travels from other areas. They stopped cruise ships from donking and the implement of widespread testing. They quadruple the production of face masks when in a month. Taiwan also has a robust social services safety net and they provided intensive support, including snipends, to patients who had contracted Ovid nineteen also to the people with whom they come into content. So Taiwan's population is roughly the same as Florida. At year end, Taiwan had eight hundred two confirmed cases and seven deaths. Farida, on the other hand, had confirmed a one point three five million cases and had sadly suffered twenty one thou five hundred and sixty two deaths gone. I'd like to you to check here a point. You know mind leadership is really important, and how you know a country or or state leads in fighting the virus, makes makes it successful, or perhaps less is successful.

One of the benefits that time one had is their vice premiere happened to be an epidemiologist, and his leadership certainly helped the country to do the right thing at the right time to have such excellent results in dealing with the pandemic, similar to having, I'm going to Markle the scientists as a chancelor of journey. Exactly now Hong Kong gets. There's a lot of controversy of Hong Kong, but they were best at quarantine. Hong Kong form a British colony, now part of Communist China. As one of the highest population densities in the world, but it kept cases low by establishing mandatory isolation protocols and quarantine centers. And you see the photo on the right. Is Life Inside Hong Kong Quarantine Center. That's where they place people with covid nineteen as well as those who had come in too close content. So some of what we do as patients serving the hospitals we co work them into a separate part of the hospital with the COVID nineteen disease. So Hong Kong best of quarantine, best the testing. South Korea, and you can see the home booth testing that they did in south three. When it became clear that a symptomatic folks could spread covid nineteen, South Korea tested early and aggressively, and you remember we had some conversations with one of your contacts as we were struggling to get testing them here in the US. They conducted more than twice as many tests per capita as other countries during the pandemics first weeks. So South cree has a population about the same as Italy and a capital city, soul, that is much more densely populated than New York City. They confirmed their first covid nineteen case on the same day as we did in Washington state. However, they have a very robust test, trace and treat regiment and that has produced a year in fatality rate of one point seven four deaths for a hundred thousand population. That's second only to New Zealand among our thirty seven member nations of the OECD. In contrast, the US rank thirty one, about a hundred and five deaths a hundred thousand a year end. The next one was a surprise to because it never showed up on our radar charts. Best location in the US, American Samoa, Mark and smoll is the only territory in the US without any covid nineteen cases. Zero since the outbreak of the coronavirus. In part that's because they are already on hard because they were threatened by the measles outbreak in late two thousand and nineteen and reasons, as you know, is the most transmissible and contagious virus. Covid nineteen is coming in a close second. So to stay off the virus early, they hold an all incoming passenger flights. Marking small has got a population by fifty five thousand. They also happened to be the second most overweight and obese country in the world, second...

...only to another Pacific island nation, now rule, which is slightly higher. In American Samoa, more than ninety percent of the population or either overweight or obese. So stopping covid nineteen was an excellent public health measure because, as we know from the data they were Seene, obesity is a contributing factor to higher case fatality rates with Covid nineteen. So because they isolated themselves, they have not have had to implement any of the mitigation measures who're seeing here, and they're following the same script that they followed a hundred one years ago during the one thousand nine hundred and eighteen Spanish flu epidemic. American Samoa during the Spanish flu pandemic, zero Spanish flu cases. So it worked for them. Someplace in America did well best at learning from recent epidemics, Liberia, the third poorest country in the world. Liberria was hard hit by the Ebola epidemic in two thousand and fourteen. So they were one of the first countries that began screening for covid nineteen at airports as people arrived in the country and they adopted other control measures like rapid testing, complete contact tracing and Quarantine. So many other countries in Afric including Senegal in Uganda, was war on our radar screen. Liberia was not. Also used their experiences from past disease outbreaks in fluent a swift, expert and comprehensive responses, despite being among the poorest countries in the world, audible mention and Dr Freed mentioned them all. So we covered both of these countries in three minute read. Rwanda and Senegal. Rwanda is a phone colony and many of the story remember watching the Movie Hotel Rwanda. Rwanda's the most densely populated nation on the African continent. They went through heinous genocide in one thousand nine hundred and ninety four, with Hutus and Tootsi's, the two tribes killing each other. However, last year they coached with the cold dependent a quite well health officials and personal protective equipment. PPE basically standing on street corners, administered tests randomly at no course to the individual, and they maximize their testing capacity by using pool testing and food testing. You Test Twenty five samples together and if there's a positive that comes out of the pool, then you test each individual in the pool. So it's the way to maximize testing capacity. Community healthcare workers, police and college students were recruited and mobilized to work as contact rations. Presidents are wearing masks, they're washing the hands and they're staying home. Senegal has also become a leader incurving the pandemic within its borders. It's a former French colony, infector public health services of Pastor Institute. They applied the lessons they learned during the bowl outbreak to protect their fifteen point nine million residents. Now data point about the Senegale you...

...can see there, there on the west coast of Africa, there's little island of Senegal. That was the primary launching spot for the slave trade. That's Senegal's history. To add, and I it's just amazing, the three of the world's poorest countries found ways to protect their residents better than did the world's major democracies, France, Spain, UK us, etcetera. At year in Senegal's fatality was too on thousand and five four four hundred thousand, behind only Liberia at one point seven two and Rwanda zero point sixty eight. After pump that average up against the US at one hundred and five. A hundred thousand. You Times more likely to die from covid nineteen in America. Best Economic Protection Denmark. They cover a portion of their employee salaries and private companies in order to avoid large scale layoffs. They also imposed the total lockdown early. But Denmark, like most of the Scandinavian countries all of stinging avan countries, has an ample social services safety net for its residence. The governor also provided a loan guarantee on seventy percent of new corporate loans that are issued to cover losses directly reading covid nineteen. So they've got a floor on potential losses from from the COVID nineteen. Dr Freed gave on will mention to India, the European Union as a whole, Australia and Colombia. All of these countries provided income supplements to lower income people, using electronic cash transfers to keep them viable during the pandemic. Columbia notably, also protected vulnerable vent is Venezuela and migrants by establishing for shelters and food centered Columbia has had a huge influx of Venezuelan refugees fleeing the Madurou government. They would not eligible for the cash supplements, but Venezuela Columbia did provide protection for them. Best of Public Communication Finland. A few countries at fort rumors by sharing information. Finland has been especially good. Added Film, has a very high media literacy and they had a two thousand and fourteen initiative that educated people about how the counter false information. I wish all those protests at the capital had taken their course. One finished project partners with social media influences to spread accurate information on digital platforms like facebook, twitter, Instagram, snapchat at sea on will mention for communication, South Africa and Germany. The countries that perform best in the pandemic have learned from their mistakes and use their data to continuously improve their response. Both South Africa and Germany having models of clarity and effective communication. Germany, as we mentioned a couple times, because ongoing marcles a scientists and has the trust of her population. So that's Dr Freedom's choices. Here at the healing American health care coalition...

...certainly endorsed his choice of the countries that are responded best to. Covid nineteen. They responded well to the challenges. We certainly think they have done great as we look over the past year and the stuff that we've tracked, focusing on a subset of the OBC. Let's just look at Europe, the European continent. The country week think it has done the best job in Europe is Norway. Sweden, as we mentioned a couple times, did not follow the course as the rest of the scandinator. So honor will mention for best dealing with the pandemic scandinated, excluding Sweden, for the five countries have collectively done a good job of protecting their residents from covid nineteen. Combined, those four countries have a population about seventeen bout over seventeen million, slightened ust the New York state. We add in Sweden, population of the about almost twenty three million, sort of like equivalent to Texas, New York City. You're in. Fatality right was a hundred ninety five, four hundred thousand. The for Scandinavian countries that we are mentioning here range from eight point one two to twenty two point three six one hundred thousand. So quite a difference in terms of the natural fatality and I guess, kind of a giving out of booby drive, but I think rather let's just talk about I can recall when our kids played the ball that they didn't win the league. They got participation awards for the Luis. So the healing ahead. American healthcare coalition awards it's participation awards to France, the US and the UK. As leaders of the developed world. Their response can only be judged by the results and they're just not satisfactory. They have not done well in coping with global pandemic or freedoms that it bested. His articles quote bad politics quite simply and trump the public out. We allheartedly agree. And any final comments? Yeah, well, first John, I want to thank you for doing all the research to pull together this presentation and I think it points out some very important things that we need to think about. First of all, all of the successful nations had a national effort to fight the COVID virus, and the United States really delegated that to every state so every state could take a different approach to the public healthcare that they felt was important for their state. Some states, as you pointed out, did very, very well and many states did not. We also, United States, suffered from people choosing to do whatever they wanted with respect to travel during the thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year holidays and as a result, we've had additional spikes in our nation that have overloaded hospitals with patients as we are trying to work through this pandemic. Today we are recording this on the...

...seventh of January. The data for last night is that two hundred and fifty eight thousand people became infected and thirty nine hundred of US died yesterday alone. That means we are generating a million infections in a little less than four days, every four days, and the numbers are expected to go up a little bit because of the Christmas in New Year's holidays. And we now have a hundred and twenty eight thousand people in hospitals in the United States and has been reported on the news, California is so overloaded with patients in southern California that ambulances are being told not to bring patients to the Er who may not make it through a treatment, which is a terrible place to be. So I think our hope at the healing American healthcare coalition is that as the new administration comes into the White House, that they will work with the Congress and with state leaders to develop a better national plan for mitigation and they will expand the effort to immunize our population against the virus so that we can return near to normal at some time during two thousand and twenty one. So with that, I just want to you know, thank everyone for listening today. Thank you again, John, for all of your hard work. Once you all stay well, stay tuned in and join us on our next podcast, which you'll be able to get to in about a week. Take care and be well.

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