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U.S. probably won't contain upcoming new infectious threats: NYT

Pedestrians walk past a monkeypox vaccination site in New York, the United States, on Sept. 6, 2022. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Xinhua)

"Both outbreaks have revealed deep fissures in the nation's framework for containing epidemics," says NYT.

NEW YORK, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- Through the COVID-19 pandemic and the monkeypox outbreak, the United States, among the richest, most advanced nations in the world, remains wholly unprepared to combat new pathogens, reported The New York Times on Thursday.

"The coronavirus was a sly, unexpected adversary. Monkeypox was a familiar foe, and tests, vaccines and treatments were already at hand. But the response to both threats sputtered and stumbled at every step," said the report.

"The price of failure is high," it noted. COVID-19 has killed more than one million Americans so far. Cases, hospitalizations and deaths are all falling, but COVID-19 was the third leading cause of death in the United States in 2021 and seems likely to keep killing Americans for years.

Monkeypox is spreading more slowly now, and has never posed a challenge of COVID-19's magnitude. But the United States has reported more monkeypox cases than any other country -- 25,000, about 40 percent of the global total -- and the virus is likely to persist as a constant, low-grade threat, said the report.

"Both outbreaks have revealed deep fissures in the nation's framework for containing epidemics. Add to that plummeting public trust, rampant misinformation and deep schisms -- between health officials and those treating patients, and between the federal government and states," it said.

"A muddled response to future outbreaks seems almost inevitable," it added. ■