It often feels like the United States couldn’t organize itself out of a paper bag.
How many years has “infrastructure week” been promised, but not delivered upon, by both Democrats and Republicans? Has either party ever actually lived up to its promise on healthcare, whether repealing Obamacare or expanding it?
But from the outside looking in, the United States is hitting one thing out of the park: vaccinations.
I’m a Canadian citizen, and while I live in New Hampshire, I attend Carleton University in Ottawa, ON. (Yes, that Ottawa — the one Tucker Carlson pronounced ah-taw-wah.) From my perspective, vaccine envy of Canadians could not be more passionate.
More than 150 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in the US, with more than 54.4 million people fully vaccinated. That’s 16.4 percent of all Americans.
In Rhode Island, the stats are even better. More than 20 percent of Rhode Islanders are fully vaccinated, with one-third of state residents having received at least one dose.
By comparison, Canada is in the dust. By March 31, only 13 percent of Canadians had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, compared to 29 percent of Americans.
Numerous delays in the delivery of vaccines from Moderna, Pfizer and AstraZeneca has led to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promising all Canadians will be vaccinated by the end of September, compared to Joe Biden’s promise of the end of May.
That isn’t to say Canada’s vaccinations aren’t ramping up. A new flood of vaccine doses is expected to arrive over the next few days, with 3.3 million doses scheduled to arrive by the end of the week. This is the largest single-week delivery in Canada since the start of the pandemic.
Much of this is not due to mismanagement. While many Canadians — myself included — are frustrated by the delay, it’s simply the reality for a country that must rely on foreign production and allocation of vaccines, as opposed to developing and producing vaccines domestically.
Still, the view across the border is maddening. To hear of friends and family vaccinated, and see the endless flood of Instagram and Facebook posts of vaccine cards, is the ultimate outsider feeling.
The reality is that Canada will be stuck in a stage of lockdown and pandemic for many months longer than the United States. A new month-long lockdown is set to be imposed in Ontario over the weekend, and modelling shows that the province could see 700 COVID-19 patients in the ICU by mid-April.
What difference does a few months make? It means thousands more deaths. It means an economy that could fall dangerously behind its southern counterpart. And it means a few more months of living in a world of restrictions.
This isn’t to blame the Canadian government. But Americans should understand how lucky they are to be in their position.
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