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How America Betrayed Its COVID Heroes

After the horrors of spring, a medical team in Maryland shut down their COVID-ICU and posed for a group photo, their eyes shining and heads raised attesting to smiles beneath their masks.

“Today I transferred the last patient out of Covid ICU,” nurse John Haacke wrote, posting the photo. “This crew exceeded all expectations and allowed our vessel to navigate extremely difficult weather conditions. Thanks everyone and let’s keep an eye out for the storm just in case. ”

It was June 25. The last patient, a state contact tracer who fell ill at work, had survived and new cases of COVID had slowed down to where the regular ICU could treat them. COVID deaths across the country had passed 115,000, but hard-hit places had now learned to flatten the infamous curve. It looked like we would be able to at least keep the virus under control while scientists worked on several promising vaccines.

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