A new report from The Lancet Commission on Public Policy and Health found that 40% of COVID-19 deaths in the United States could have been prevented.
The commission said public health measures such as wearing masks and social distancing could have saved lives.
"Many of the cases and deaths were avoidable," the commission said in its newest report. "Instead of galvanizing the U.S. populace to fight the pandemic, President (Donald) Trump publicly dismissed its threat (despite privately acknowledging it), discouraged action as infection spread, and eschewed international cooperation. His refusal to develop a national strategy worsened shortages of personal protective equipment and diagnostic tests. President Trump politicized mask-wearing and school reopenings and convened indoor events attended by thousands, where masks were discouraged, and physical distancing was impossible."
The commission also added that a flawed health system in the U.S. also contributed to the deaths.
"The government's anemic and incompetent efforts to ramp up the supply of personal protective equipment and its non-existent oversight of infection control practices contributed to the COVID-19-related deaths of 2021 health-care workers as of Dec 26, 2020," the commission said in the report.
The report also found that the life expectancy in the U.S. began trailing other industrialized nations for decades, finding that 461,000 fewer Americans would have died in 2018 if U.S. mortality rates matched those in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom.