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COVID-19 has killed more Americans than five wars combined

Coronavirus; Hospital; COVID-19
Coronavirus; Hospital; COVID-19

edics work with a COVID-19 patient at the isolation ward of Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan near the coastal city of Tel Aviv, on July 29, 2020. JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images

Sometime this week, even as we see Donald Trump being treated for COVID-19, it is likely we will hit 212,000 American deaths from coronavirus in seven months. 

That is a mark passing U.S. deaths from conflicts in Vietnam, Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan and World War I – reflected symbolically over the weekend with 20,000 empty chairs on the Washington Mall. 

Globally, of course, we’re over a million deaths. 

It’s a sober and ignoble achievement—a total that public awareness and attention should have kept lower, one whose growth rate should be diminishing and one that seems to encapsulate our divisive mentality about safety for others.

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Despite whatever efforts Trump, state governors, government health officials or others want to claim, the maps of disease growth show the United States faring worse than most other industrialized nations on most measures of per population disease control and deaths. This comes even as treatment options have improved and medical treatment has adjusted to recognizing opportunities for earlier intervention.

The total contagion counts show the insistence of Americans to resist even the simplest forms of protection, even while demanding that someone else provide it – for free.

And the president’s own nuttiness about insisting on a spin around the block as if to show off his good health before returning to the hospital just illustrates he is not even taking his own case very seriously. He just exposed everyone in the car. His personal campaign to look strong despite illness frankly is a mystifying version of leadership, for pushing for earlier-than-expected release back to the White House.

Even as pro-Trump crowds were gathering outside Walter Reed Hospital to cheer an ailing president, those waving flags and banners were standing together mostly mask-less, without proscribed physical distancing in some kind of tribal rejection of public health rules. The White House was reported to be doing little toward tracing those who may have been infected in contact with Trump or his close circle. And the president was taking pains to show himself publicly as a strong survivor of the coronavirus challenge, making the White House itself a live contagion point, as if that makes the disease less potent for those without his access to daily testing.

The reality we still face is that whether Trump emerges days from now in peachy health to successfully pursue election victory as one who has survived the coronavirus or opponent Joe Biden wins for being a far more sober, careful candidate respectful of the demands of the disease, coronavirus is still going to be here. It will be a long slog to get through it – something that Trump does not want to own. Even if we get a vaccine, Americans are saying by droves that they don’t see taking it.

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Brian May says ‘stomach explosion’ almost killed him

Brian May on stage during 2019 Global Citizen Festival at Central Park (Lev Radin / Pacific Press/Sipa USA)
Brian May on stage during 2019 Global Citizen Festival at Central Park (Lev Radin / Pacific Press/Sipa USA)

Brian May has told how he almost died of a “stomach explosion” during his recovery from a heart attack.

The Queen guitarist, 73, revealed in May that he had to undergo surgery to fit three stents after suffering a “small” heart attack where he said he “could have died”.

“I turned out to have three arteries that were congested and in danger of blocking the supply of blood to my heart,” he said in a video at the time.

Read more: Brian May slams ‘vindictive’ press for bad reviews of Bohemian Rhapsody

Brian May (Anthony Behar/Sipa USA)
Brian May (Anthony Behar/Sipa USA)

Talking to The Times about his recovery, May said it was “a long climb back”.

“I’ve had complications due to the drugs I’m on, one of which was a stomach explosion that nearly killed me,” he said.

May has suffered a series of health issues in recent months.

In December, the rock star shared that he had undergone surgery on his leg to help treat a “painful heel situation” that had been affecting the way he moved around when he was performing on stage with his band.

Read more: Brian May says he’s been crawling around the house in health update

And earlier this year he told fans on Instagram that he had to go to hospital after ripping his buttock muscle “to shreds” during some “over-enthusiastic gardening”.

The musician posted a picture on Instagram showing him in a mask as he assured fans that it was a gardening gaffe and not the coronavirus that had landed him in hospital.

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