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US ways to tackle COVID-19 ignite domestic criticism, probes

Xinhua | Updated: 2022-01-25 10:07
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A man poses while attending an event protesting vaccine mandates and other pandemic restrictions in Washington, D.C., the United States, Jan 23, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

NEW YORK - As of Sunday afternoon, the United States had logged over 70 million COVID-19 cases and 866,000 deaths, according to real-time data from Johns Hopkins University.

Though Anthony Fauci, the top US infectious disease expert, has recently said that nationwide Omicron cases appear to be peaking, criticism and probes keep increasing domestically from various sectors against the federal policies and decisions concerning the pandemic.

The New York Times on Sunday bashed setbacks in three key areas during the Biden administration's first-year pandemic fight: unpreparedness for sharp turns, a lack of sustained focus on testing, and the president's hesitation in pushing containment measures.

"The administration did not anticipate the nature and severity of variants, even after clear warning signals from the rest of the world," the report added.

Working in hospitals flooded with patients, frontline medics told the Wall Street Journal that they are "stretched thin and seeking help from burnout".

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, more than 1,000 hospitals have been reporting daily critical staffing shortages in recent weeks. Meanwhile, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that the healthcare sector has lost nearly 500,000 workers since February 2020.

"Corporate healthcare already had us on the brink, and when COVID-19 came it pushed us over," Doreen McIntyre, a nurse at Minnesota Children's Hospital, was quoted as saying.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Saturday searched the headquarters of a nationwide string of coronavirus testing sites known as the Center for COVID Control.

"The company and its main lab, which has been reimbursed more than 124 million US dollars from the federal government for coronavirus testing, are under investigation by state and federal officials," reported USA Today on Monday.

Longtime entrepreneurs Akbar Syed and his wife, Aleya Siyaj, run the Center for COVID Control and, in recent months, have been sharing photos and videos on social media of their growing wealth.

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