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CEO Perspective

A Devastating Milestone: Global COVID-19 Death Toll Reaches One Million

Statement from José Luis Castro, President and CEO, Vital Strategies, as Global COVID-19 Death Toll Reaches One Million

“Today we hit an excruciating milestone—over one million lives lost to COVID-19. Too many lives have been lost and too many livelihoods devastated.  No country has been spared. 

In just nine months, COVID-19 has joined Tuberculosis, HIV-AIDS, and noncommunicable diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes, as a leading killer. It is more urgent than ever for governments around the world to recognize that to restore lives and livelihoods, we must take protective measures within our countries and between them. Multilateral cooperation is more critical than ever. And we must recognize the centrality of science and public health to guide our efforts as we work toward a new normal. 

In the US, the virus has been most devastating to those who have been most vulnerable because of systematic drivers of ill health like poverty, racism and access to health care.  These issues are relevant in so many other countries around the world.  This is a gruesome reminder that strengthening public health systems, including addressing these underlying issues, must be a life-saving priority for all of us.”