In this Oct. 27, 2020, Artist Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg walks among thousands of white flags planted in remembrance of Americans who have died of COVID-19 near Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File) Covid Deaths
In this Oct. 27, 2020, Artist Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg walks among thousands of white flags planted in remembrance of Americans who have died of COVID-19 near Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

According to a study completed by Brown University and Microsoft AI Health, 14,146 deaths in Pennsylvania could have been prevented had it not been for the politically-motivated lag in demand for vaccines.

Nearly a million Americans died during the worst of the COVID pandemic, and even though we have returned to some form of normalcy of late, people are still suffering and dying today.

One thing we learned early on, as a national tragedy quickly morphed into a partisan issue, was that people were dying who didn’t have tothat there was a calculable number of preventable deaths that were simply allowed to happen for political reasons.

We just didn’t know how many, until recently.

According to a study completed by Brown University and Microsoft AI Health, 14,146 deaths in Pennsylvania could have been prevented had it not been for the politically-motivated lag in demand for vaccines. That’s nearly half of Pennsylvania’s total number of deaths during the time studied.

That said, there are many reasons why someone might not accept a vaccine, but it is in no way irresponsible to say that the vast majority of those who refused to be vaccinated did so based on bad information from bad actors who were seeking to, in one way or another, profit from the tragedy.

The majority of those 14,146 deaths suffered by 14,146 Pennsylvania families are the result of a lack of good information at the local level, and far too much trust given to those who would surely climb over piles of dead Pennsylvanians to achieve their ambitions, or simply to profit off the sale of one of the many fake Covid remedies, cures, and snake oils.

In the digital age, information can kill almost as effectively as a virus, and spread just as easily. And with local, trusted sources of information dying at the rate of roughly two local papers per week, the danger of bad information is growing, and there is no vaccine for that.

Bad information is coursing through America’s veins, and the fever is presenting itself in preventable deaths, election denial, insurrection, radicalization, violence, and a seemingly endless number of disingenuous political campaigns run by those who deny privately what they shout publicly.

And behind it all, there is an army of grifters and hucksters making a whole lot of money, gaining a whole lot of power, and killing a whole lot of Pennsylvanians.