How America Gave Up

And how we fight back

Dec. 11, 2020

In just the last few weeks, the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. went from an emergency to a disaster. And it is getting worse — possibly much worse.

There are more cases of Covid-19, more deaths and more pain for families than ever experienced throughout the darkness of 2020. A fractured government response, combined with growing public malaise and distrust, is threatening once again to overwhelm hospital systems across the country, just as it did in the confused and panic-filled weeks at the beginning of the pandemic.

Vaccines are on the way, with the first U.S. approval pending and distribution networks ready to launch. But that does not change the stark reality of the coming months: Public health professionals expect the winter to be the worst season yet for victims of the virus — assuming that America does not change the path it is on.

Before the year-end holidays begin, providing the easiest possible transmission of the virus, NBC News is presenting these special reports as a last-minute attempt to highlight an urgent truth: We can still turn the tide of the pandemic.