The Covid-19 pandemic breached a bleak barrier in the U.S. on Tuesday: 400,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center.
That’s almost twice the total of Brazil, which has suffered the second-most casualties.
Critics say the Donald Trump administration mismanaged the pandemic response, denying the seriousness of the pandemic, failing to coordinate policy among states, discouraging the use of masks, and promoting unproven treatments -- including, at one point, suggesting that ingesting bleach into the body might fight off the virus.
The pandemic proved costly for Trump, too. He caught it himself and had to be hospitalized for treatment. Many analysts say the pandemic cost him the election.
At the same time, while Trump lost by 7 million popular votes, more than 4 percentage points, only a few hundred thousand votes in swing states prevented him from getting reelected. Joe Biden will be inaugurated on Wednesday.
In a bitter pill for many families who lost loved ones, the stock market was flying while their relatives were dying,
After plunging 34% from Feb. 19 to March 23, largely as a result of the pandemic, the S&P 500 index took off. It has soared 70% since March 23, and the Nasdaq Composite has ascended even faster -- 92%.
Many analysts suggest that the pandemic response may improve under Biden, who has promised a massive and organized fight against the virus.
An important start would involve improved distribution of vaccines, which are proving hard to come by for many of the nation’s elderly citizens.