One thing remains abundantly clear as the world grapples with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Despite over two years of intensive research, we still don’t completely understand this enigmatic virus. While significant strides have been made in unraveling its mysteries, many aspects of COVID-19 baffle scientists and healthcare professionals alike.

Sometimes things happen that are beyond human decency. When these things happen and it causes others to lose their lives, we must learn to act to punish those responsible and ensure it never happens again. For more than two years, the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis has been investigating the federal government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic to ensure the American people receive a full accounting of what went wrong and to determine what corrective steps are necessary to ensure our nation is better prepared for any future public health crisis.

Although reported COVID-19 deaths between Jan 1, 2020, and Dec 31, 2021, totaled 5·94 million worldwide, we estimate that 18·2 million (95% uncertainty interval 17·1–19·6) people died worldwide because of the COVID-19 pandemic (as measured by excess mortality) over that period. (Source: The Lancet). Overt politicization of the pandemic—and the speed with which falsehoods about all aspects of COVID-19 have spread online, over the airwaves, and through media—are significant reasons why the U.S. has suffered a far greater COVID-related death toll than other large, well-resourced nations.

The latest KFF COVID-19 Monitor finds that fatigue and frustration dominate the public’s mood as the U.S. nears the pandemic’s second anniversary. While partisans have often been split in their pandemic attitudes, roughly three in four Democrats, independents, and Republicans say they feel “tired” and “frustrated,” and similar shares say they think it is likely that most people in the U.S. will eventually get infected with COVID-19.