June 1, 2021

U.S. Moves Forward on COVID as Other Parts of the World See Surges

U.S. Moves Forward on COVID as Other Parts of the World See Surges
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The U.S. has hit a new COVID-19 milestone -- not a grim one, but one of hope -- experiencing the lowest case and death counts since early on in the pandemic. Around the world, a different picture is emerging as countries like Brazil, India, and Malaysia are experiencing devastating surges and shortages of critical supplies. India recently reported seeing more COVID deaths in a single day than any other country at any time during the pandemic. Globally, more than 3.5 million people are estimated to have died from COVID-19 -- however, researchers at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington School of Medicine believe that number is vastly undercounted and the real death toll is likely two to three times higher. Even as 9% of the world's population have gotten vaccinated, half of those manufactured doses have gone to wealthy countries, whose supply is starting to exceed demand. Krutika Kuppalli, MD, vice chair of the global health committee at the Infectious Diseases Society of America and assistant professor of medicine in the division of infectious diseases at the Medical University of South Carolina, joins us in this week's episode to explain why the longer cases spread uncontained in any part of the world, the worse it fares for all of us.