While the US is doing well on the whole, ultimately what matters is how many people have had Covid-19 and how many are fully vaccinated in each community. As such, it is long past time to retire the idea of a national herd immunity and instead focus on local case levels and vaccine coverage.
As we have seen since the start of the pandemic, the impact of Covid-19 has not been felt equally in every community. This public health crisis has revealed the nation we are, and it has provided us the moral clarity and urgency to dismantle the racist systems and entrenched barriers that have left so many people in this country vulnerable. A single national number is not our ticket out of this pandemic, but a national unity of purpose to make sure as many people are vaccinated as possible in all communities would go a long way.