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What Is The Role Of Consulting Firms To Help U.S. Control The Pandemic?
The United States exceeded nine million COVID-19 cases on October 30, but this bleak milestone is less terrifying than the rate at which it has been attained. The nation reported a million cases in just 14 days, between October 16 and October 30. Cases hadn’t increased in that rate since late July when the COVID-19 pandemic spiked across the South and Southwest.
Not only in the United States, but the spikes are almost everywhere. Cases rates are high and increasing in about 40 states and territories. Since October, a minimum of three of every four ICU beds is preoccupied in 21 states. Hospitals are overrun, particularly in the Midwest.
This autumn bout will probably be tougher to deal with, as the infection thrives in rural areas where accessibility to urgent medical aid has been decreasing for years. Rural regions have increased rates of the underlying health conditions and behaviors - smoking, obesity, and high blood pressure - that lead to worse results with COVID-19. At the present rate, the U.S. could reach 300,000 deaths before the end of this year. The pandemic is also going up overseas.
America Has Failed Badly In Controlling COVID-19. Why?
Almost every country in the world has struggled to deal with the coronavirus pandemic and has also made some mistakes along its way.
So the mistakes started with China - silencing the medical professionals who tried to raise alerts regarding the novel coronavirus outbreak. As a result, the infection spread to adjacent countries and then to the entire world. Now various parts of the nation have reopened, and several countries, including France, Canada, Australia, Japan, and many more, are getting to grips with the rapid increase in cases.
One country - none other than the United States - has maintained its position as being the only wealthy nation to have confronted a severe and sustainable outbreak for more than four months.
The question arises here is - “How can a prosperous nation, like the U.S, prove to be incapable of coping with the virus outbreak?” There are various possible reasons for this, which points to two fundamental themes.
First, the United States has been facing a major pandemic for several months in a row. It is a large country at the nexus of the global economy, with a custom of prioritizing individualism over government restrictions. This custom is one prime reason why the U.S. has an asymmetrical healthcare system that has led to worse medical results - including higher diabetes rates and infant mortality and a lower life expectancy - than in most high-income countries.
The second key theme is that public health specialists usually find it awkward to discuss as many try to step away from partisan politics. Studies suggest that poor outcomes in the U.S. have stemmed from the Trump administration's inadequate performance.
The reasons for failure include the following factors:
- confusing advice about masks
- a lack of significant travel restrictions
- inconsistent messages from public officials
- recurrent breakdowns in testing
- a misinterpretation of the relationship between the virus and the economy
How the U.S. Is Planning To Control The Pandemic Situation?
The state governments struggling to cope with the coronavirus pandemic have funded millions of dollars to big consultancy firms for assistance. These firms have assured the states of combating a wide range of issues, including staffing call centers that tackle worker benefits and dispensing medical equipment. Some states have only observed moderate benefits for the extra cost, while many others have seen tremendous advantages.
The two major consulting firms, including McKinsey & Co. and Deloitte Consulting LLP, collectively have won coronavirus-related agreements worth about $182 million from states that are almost double their tally of federal coronavirus agreements. The total sum of money received by these two firms is probably even higher. However, the detailed data on states’ outlay isn’t yet disclosed.
They are possibly viewing this situation as a great economic opportunity emerging out of a serious public health concern and intervening to get benefited. On the contrary, the consulting firms state that they are lending a helping hand to the state governments on their requests. As the pandemic hit, these firms have been putting lots of effort into mobilizing substantial expertise and resources to support states dealing with the crisis.
The federal government has long abandoned the states to cope with the pandemic and other related issues. The ongoing struggles to find consultants to assist them at an increasingly high price to taxpayers demonstrates how difficult that self-reliance has been.
The state departments are struggling to protect a global supply chain, which is not something that this department does typically.
California turned to Deloitte to help manage a flood of claims drowning its archaic benefits system. This autumn, the firm was rewarded with a new $5 million contract to support an upgrade system to pay pandemic benefits. Deloitte also achieved $11.1 million, a two-month contract to supply call center staff to improve the employment department’s capacity quickly. The state then increased the contract to $42.6 million.
An official state report in September found that the department’s two call centers, including one that was partially staffed by Deloitte, were overwhelmed. Also, a huge backlog of unsettled claims crossed more than a million. In fact, the count was increasing very rapidly at a rate of about 10,000 each day as per the report.
Consulting firms have been hit hard by the loss of work from business clients because of the pandemic. Considering this in mind, Deloitte offered about a 15% discount on its standard rates. On the other hand, McKinsey introduced deduced philanthropic fees in the spring, according to contracts.