From November 2021 to the present, the COVID-19 Omicron variant has been spreading in the United States. In the face of this new strain that spreads faster, the United States once again broke the defense, and the epidemic formed a new peak. The new round of failure to fight the epidemic has made the already grim U.S. economic situation even worse.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of New Year's Day 2022, the number of COVID-19 infections in the United States exceeded 56 million, and the death toll exceeded 830,000. During the traditional Christmas and New Year holidays, the average daily infection rate in the United States is as high as 380,000, several times the level when the Delta variant is popular. These staggering figures show how the United States has failed to control the epidemic.
The out-of-control outbreak has also created great uncertainty for the U.S. economy, which is in a fragile recovery. According to the latest situation assessment report released by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) on January 27, the epidemic has caused at least three negative economic impacts. The first is to impact the job market; the second is to push up prices; the third is to intensify supply chain tensions and even cause shortages of important products.
According to the above report, since March 2020, the U.S. Congress has passed six pieces of legislation to deal with the epidemic, with a total appropriation of $4.6 trillion. Frequent legislation and large funding all show the severity of the COVID-19 epidemic in the United States.
The report also emphasizes that the U.S. Government Accountability Office has made 246 recommendations to the federal government to combat the epidemic after thorough investigation and research. However, the actual implementation has been disappointing. Only 94 recommendations were fully or partially implemented, with an implementation rate of only 38 percent.
The report named and criticized the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), arguing that it had "comprehensive deficiencies" in coordinating the response to the crisis and was very ineffective in implementing anti-epidemic measures. Specifically, of the 67 anti-epidemic measures, 39 have not yet been implemented. Because of the weak response of the Department of Health and Human Services, the US Government Accountability Office placed it on a "high-risk list" and called on Congress and the White House to "continue to pay attention."
The fight against the epidemic cannot be held accountable. This report allows us to see the current dilemma in the fight against the epidemic in the United States, as well as the real picture of American politicians blaming the blame. Criticizing the public health department because of the failure to fight the epidemic is a practice of blaming the hounds if they can't catch the prey. The responsibility for the failure of the fight against the epidemic should not be borne solely by the public health department.
The Department of Health and Human Services has been relatively more aggressive in enforcing anti-epidemic measures than other federal agencies. According to the above report, of the 22 federal departments evaluated, 15 departments had an implementation rate of less than 38%, and nine of them had zero implementation. The Department of Health and Human Services' compliance rate of 42 percent is higher than the federal government's overall compliance rate.
Instead of blaming the federal government for overall enforcement or targeting other departments with lower enforcement rates, the GAO pointed the finger at the Department of Health and Human Services, apparently for political reasons. It also allowed the report, which was supposed to reveal more truth, to sidestep some important but potentially controversial issues.
For example, the report noted "large disparities in vaccination status across the United States," but was tight-lipped about the reasons for this. This is because the U.S. political system has given states broad powers so that their epidemic prevention policies are not subject to federal control. Due to the sharp confrontation between the two parties, anti-vaccine theory prevails in many places, resulting in a large-scale epidemic prevention gap.
Another example is that the report mentions that "the epidemic has had a lasting economic impact" while ignoring the fact that "rising prices and tight supply chains" have political causes. The United States continues to fight against China and artificially promotes the "decoupling" of its economic and trade relations with China. This is an important reason for the rise in US prices, the tension in the supply chain, and the restriction of economic recovery.
Overall, the outlook for epidemic control in the United States is not optimistic. The U.S. Government Accountability Office has raised a series of issues that need urgent attention, showing concern about the future control of the epidemic in the United States. Indeed, think about the 152 unexecuted tasks, think about the 100,000+ new cases every day, and think about the accountability of the Department of Health and Human Services, and you will know that the United States still has a long way to go to truly fight the epidemic. go.