The coronavirus has at least been a factor in the deaths of more than 700,000 people in the United States. Some 43.7 million Americans have had and recovered from the virus, whose mortality rate is about 1.6% -- a more likely outcome for people with comorbidities and a less likely one for those who are otherwise healthy.
According to a report from The Well Being Trust, about 75,000 people have died from what is called "deaths of despair," which includes suicide and drug abuse because of COVID-19. 71% of students are suffering from increased stress and anxiety because of the pandemic, and the virus cost the economy an estimated $16 trillion in 2020.
Dr. Jeff Barrows of the Christian Medical Association thinks the death count is too high for him to say the country overreacted to the coronavirus.
"Just looking at mortality overall from all diseases and the number of excess deaths – and it's mainly been due to COVID – in this country it's been probably close to 750,000 to a million excess deaths in the year 2020," he tells American Family News.
He has no doubt, though, that a measure of the pain has been caused by politics. So while it will be left to historians to give the final verdict, Dr. Barrows says a million excess deaths is a serious loss and a tragedy by any standard.
"This pandemic -- as inconvenient as it is, as much trouble that it's causing, the amount that it's costing -- we have to recognize that it's associated with a large number of deaths," he reiterates.
Christian Medical defends COVID shot, conscientious objection
A longtime medical doctor who says the COVID-19 injection is overall safe and effective, and who routinely urges the public to get it, also says it is wrong for the Biden administration to threaten people with losing their livelihood if they refuse to do so.
The COVID-19 shot has created debate and anger among the public, including among those gathering in churches on Sunday mornings, and that debate has not gone unnoticed at the Christian Medical and Dental Association.
Dr. Jeff Barrows, speaking on behalf of the CMDA, says the faith-based group does not take an official position for or against mandates.
“CMDA does generally oppose broad mandates,” he advises, “such as what we see with the Biden administration across the country.”
CMDA supports the right of people to raise a conscientious objection, he says, but the professional organization is “pro-vaccine” and agrees with data showing it prevents hospitalization and death.
Meanwhile, a Republican lawmaker has revealed information that he fully expects will invite attacks from those who favor and push mandatory COVID shots. During a recent floor speech, Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson (R) presented documents that he says dispel President Joe Biden's notion that COVID-19 is a pandemic of the unvaccinated.
During a seven and half month period beginning in February of 2021, data from Public Health England shows about 750,000 new virus cases were reported, and roughly 600,000 (80%) of those were the Delta variant.
"In England, of the 600,000 new cases of Delta, of the over 2,500 deaths, 63% of those deaths, 1,613 people were the fully vaccinated," Senator Johnson cites. "28% were with the unvaxxed. This is information the American people have probably never heard. By conveying it, I will get attacked. I will be vilified. I will be censored. I will be suppressed. That's one of the reasons I came to the floor of the Senate to reveal this information -- American people need to know."
Given that information, along with the effectiveness of natural immunity, Johnson wants to know the justification for shot mandates.
But no mandate for illegals
Meanwhile, an immigration border enforcement organization is taking Dr. Anthony Fauci to task for his dismissive attitude regarding illegal immigrants' impact on the spread of the coronavirus.
Recently during an appearance on CNN, Fauci – President Biden's chief medical – discussed the impact of COVID-19 at the southern border and the role of Title 42. That's a public health order started under President Donald Trump that enables U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials to quickly return illegal aliens to Mexico – often in minutes and without detention – in order to mitigate the public health risks from COVID-19. But Fauci dismissed the notion that the influx of illegal aliens has an impact on the spread of COVID in the U.S.
Ira Mehlman, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, says Fauci is off-base.
"You don't need to be an epidemiologist to understand that if you have a wide-open border and have lots of people coming across that border – especially from countries where vaccination rates are pretty low and people have been travelling in large groups – that it is going to pose a threat of spreading that virus," says Mehlman.
"Dr. Fauci can talk all he wants about how this is not a factor. It is."
And Mehlman says the Biden administration is essentially giving illegals a pass on getting the injection.
"People are not being vaccinated in many cases they're not even being tested for COVID," he notes. "In some cases, they are being tested for COVID – and even if they test positive, they're still being released."
Editor's note: Comments from FAIR added after story was originally published.