Study blames Trump policies for high US Covid-19 mortality rate

New York, Feb 11 (efe-epa).- Former President Donald Trump’s administrative healthcare failures caused 461,000 deaths prior to the pandemic in the United States and tens of thousands more over his Covid-19 and air pollution policies, a study published Thursday said.

In the study, published in the scientific journal The Lancet 33 researchers said the US must move away “immediately” from Trump’s health policies, adding that the Republican leader inherited decades of failed policies his administration aggravated.

The research calls for reversing policies that have led to the worsening of the American public’s health while the rest of the world has improved, adding that “a path that takes us away from the politics of rage and despair of Trump cannot go through the policies of the past.”

The findings, which researchers consider “devastating,” were released as part of the journal’s Commission for Public Policy and Health in the Trump Era, established in 2017. They include six recommendations as a science-based response to the pandemic and creating a public health system similar to that of Canada or European countries.

In addition, it calls for a large fiscal and budgetary pact to finance health, the fight against climate change and the improvement of civil rights and education.

The report estimates that in 2018, 461,000 deaths could have been saved with distinct health policies and 40 percent of the more than 341,000 deaths in 2020 from Covid-19 (more than in any other country) would have been prevented.

Estimates consider that just eliminating Trump’s lax environmental policies would have prevented 22,000 deaths in 2019.

Researchers said the presidency of Republican Ronald Reagan in the ‘80s implemented measures detrimental to the public sector and tax benefits for large fortunes and companies that ultimately led to a decrease in life expectancy compared to other developing nations.

Difficulties in accessing healthcare with a large private component and exorbitant prices purchased with other rich countries has meant that life expectancy, which stands at 78, has begun to fall in the US, while it has increased or remained the same in the rest of the world.

The report said underfunding health agencies countrywide caused 50,000 health-care-related jobs losses during Barack Obama’s presidency vital to fighting the unexpected pandemic that broke out in 2020.

To further complicate matters, failed healthcare policies, focused on private profit, means 11 percent of Americans suffer from food insecurity, risk of obesity or diabetes and therefore a greater possibility of dying from Covid-19.

The pandemic has hit minorities the heaviest and decreased the life expectancy of Hispanics by more than 3.5 years, while increasing the mortality rate difference between whites and blacks.

“The pandemic has shown how spectacularly inadequate the country’s health system is in protecting the nation’s health. Covid-19 has exploited existing health and social inequalities around the world, but nowhere else is it clearer than in the United States,” said Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet. EFE-EPA


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