As thousands of excited Americans flock to streets across the country in celebration of Joe Biden being declared the 46th president, there is growing concern about a “frightening problem”.
The Covid-19 death toll has continued to climb to disastrous rates across the US, presenting a major challenge to a nation whose current leader, Donald Trump, has repeatedly denied its severity.
With two-and-a-half months still to go until Joe Biden officially steps into his newly elected role of president, there is escalating concern the pandemic will kill thousands more before action is taken.
The disturbing issue was highlighted after Biden’s acceptance speech in Wilmington, Delaware, on Saturday evening (local time), by ABC News reporter Michael Rowland.
“The death toll continues to increase and in some states, it is out of control. It is really beyond the capacities of health systems to try to bring it under control,” he told viewers from Washington DC.
“I guess the challenge is, given the administration, the Trump Administration has already quite openly said that it is not trying to control the pandemic.”
He said it would be an anxious couple of months before Biden’s “team of scientists” would be brought in to help being the pandemic under control.
“What can happen in that two month period in terms of where the virus is going and what impact it can have on the economy - that is the truly frightening thing for this country,” he said.
Rowland described the impending problem a “very deep concern”.
“A lot of people clearly want this pandemic to end. Too many people are losing loved ones and getting sick,” he told viewers.
His comments came as the country recorded a record number of infections on Friday (local time).
More than 120,000 people currently have the virus across the country, where the death toll has climbed to almost 240,000.
The newly-elected 46th president will have his work cut out for him when he is sworn into office on January 20.
Biden and his vice president to-be Kamala Harris have already outlined a plan to tackle the pandemic.
In a seven-point plan, the new administration is vowing to “fix Trump’s testing-and-tracing fiasco”, ramp up production of PPE, protect the elderly and vulnerable, implement mask mandates and properly manufacture and distribute a vaccine for the virus.
In the 86 days left of Trump’s term, 100,000 more Americans will likely die from the virus if the nation doesn’t shift course, Dr Robert Murphy, executive director of the Institute for Global Health at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, said.
“Where we are is in an extremely dire place as a country,” Dr Leana Wen, a public health expert at George Washington University, said.
“Every metric that we have is trending in the wrong direction. This is a virus that will continue to escalate at an accelerated speed and that is not going to stop on its own,” she said.
Election workers who risked their health to staff polling booths and ballot counting centres are now in self-quarantine, according to CNN.
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