KOKOMO, Ind. — Tammy Cunningham doesn’t remember the birth of her son. She was not quite seven months pregnant when she became acutely ill with Covid-19 in May 2021. By the time she was taken by helicopter to an Indianapolis hospital, she was coughing and gasping for breath.
The baby was not due for another 11 weeks, but Ms. Cunningham’s lungs were failing. The medical team, worried that neither she nor the fetus would survive so long as she was pregnant, asked her fiancé to authorize an emergency C-section.
“I asked, ‘Are they both going to make it?’” recalled Matt Cunningham. “And they said they couldn’t answer that.”
New government data suggest that scenes like this played out with shocking frequency in 2021, the second year of the pandemic.