Letter: Cancer, Heart Disease, COVID-19

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Letter to the Editor

Below is a list of the major causes of death per annum in the United States. The list was prepared by the CDC before COVID-19:

  •Heart disease: 655,381

  •Cancer: 599,274

  •Accidents (unintentional injuries): 167,127

  •Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 159,486

  •Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 147,810

  •Alzheimer’s disease: 122,019

  •Diabetes: 84,946

  •Influenza and pneumonia: 59,120

  •Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 51,386

  •Intentional self-harm (suicide): 48,344

We are currently losing on average more than 2,000 Americans each day from COVID-19 or more than we lose daily from either heart disease or cancer. In other words, COVID-19 is now the leading cause of death in our country. Almost all the people who die from COVID-19 die in the hospital where beds and staff are in short supply, whereas many people who die from other causes pass away at home.

This virus is not the flu, nor did it go away in April, nor did we stop talking about it on the day after the election. It is not a hoax. It is a killer and highly contagious, unlike cancer or heart disease. Denial does not make COVID-19 any less lethal.

The good news is that multiple vaccines are on the way. The bad news is that it will take several months for most of us to be helped. In the meantime, if our people are not vigilant and take the necessary precautions our infectious disease experts are begging us to take, hundreds of thousands more of us will suffer needlessly.

Burt Ross