Mark Cameron comments to the BBC on US hospital rates

BBC headline composite _ image of nurse with story headline

Mark Cameron notes that the US is suffering from "a perfect storm" of Covid-19, comorbidities, uneven access to healthcare and hostility to vaccines, masks, and other preventative measures.

"When all of that 'perfect storm' nature of vulnerabilities that are unique to the US combine, you've got an outbreak of the virus that can quickly lead from increased cases to increased hospitalisations[sic], which tax the local hospitals and health community."

As the reporters note: 
Even as the Omicron variant sweeps around the world, public health officials have noted that, in most cases, the number of Covid patients in hospitals remains significantly lower than during previous pandemic surges.

That's not the case in the US, however, where the number of patients with the coronavirus currently in hospital has reached record numbers.
According to data from the Department of Health and Human Services, 145,982 people were in hospital with the virus on 11 January, surpassing a previous record set in January 2021.

On Thursday, US President Joe Biden was expected to announce plans to deploy military medical personnel to help in six of the states hardest hit by the influx of patients.
Similarly, hospitals in large parts of neighbouring Canada have also seen surges, with Quebec reporting a pandemic high last weekend.

So what is going on, and why might North America's experience be different to South Africa and Europe so far?

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