Johns Hopkins to shut down online Covid tracker despite 500 Americans still dying every day

Johns Hopkins’ online covid-19 tracker, a resource that has provided invaluable global information during the pandemic, will be shut down on March 10. The news comes despite the fact that about 500 Americans still die from the disease every day, according to the New York Timesfar more than most other causes of death in the United States such as the flu or stroke.

The Johns Hopkins tracker launched on March 3, 2020, costing around $13 million to maintain over the past three years. The site received more than 2.5 billion views in its lifetime, according to a new report from NPR.

The tracker provided information at a time when the US federal government under President Donald Trump has found itself unable to provide basic information on the number of cases and deaths, despite numerous warnings that things could go wrong , as hospitals were overwhelmed in China, Italy and Spain. If you recall, the Disney theme parks in Hong Kong and Shanghai were closed at the end of January 2020, a sign to health officials around the world that they should prepare for something big. You have to assume it’s going to be bad when they close Disneyland.

Millions of people around the world relied on data from Johns Hopkins at the start of the pandemic to make decisions about their schools, work and entertainment choices. And the news of the shutdown is a clear sign that most Americans no longer think much about the pandemic in their daily lives, despite the high daily death toll. Only heart disease and cancer surpassed covid-19 in causes of death in 2022, according to the latest CDC figures.

Many states no longer publish daily data on the number of covid-19 cases and deaths. But the United States has reported at least 1.12 million deaths from covid-19, the worst toll of any country in the world. Experts point to the abysmal delivery of covid-19 reminders to the elderly for the shockingly high death toll in the United States, but there seems to have been some kind of abandonment by health officials that if you don’t go get vaccinated now, you probably never will.

But what is the CDC doing to help people during this ongoing pandemic? Not much, it seems. You are on your own, especially if you are old.

“I know the CDC has the ability to do this and has done this many times in the past,” Dr. Ali Khan, a former CDC official, told NPR. “So it was unusual that at the start of this COVID pandemic that they weren’t collecting this data and releasing it in a timely manner. Extremely unusual and very surprising.”

Despite a constant drumbeat from outlets like Fox News that covid-19 vaccines aren’t safe, that simply isn’t the case. Vaccines have been shown to be safe and help prevent people from becoming seriously ill and dying. And if you’re still on the verge of getting shot, I highly recommend it. In fact, I received the bivalent booster and saw no side effects. You really won’t regret it.

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