The US of A: An administration in denial and dysfunction as the coronavirus raged

From the Oval Office to the CDC, political and institutional failures cascaded through the system and opportunities to mitigate the pandemic were lost.

The Washington Post reported the United States would have been the country with the most resources and best prepared to handle and “fight a pandemic but ended up catastrophically overmatched by the novel coronavirus, sustaining heavier casualties than any other nation.” Unfortunately, the Trump administration dropped the ball hard and put the US on track “to see more of its people die than in the wars of Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq combined.”

Despite implementing ‘war-time’ policies the country has never seen before: banning incoming travelers from two continents, bringing commerce to a near-halt, enlisting industry to make emergency medical gear, and confining 230 million Americans to their homes, the U.S.will go down in history “as the country that was supposedly best prepared to fight a pandemic but ended up catastrophically overmatched by the novel coronavirus, sustaining heavier casualties than any other nation.”

The failure has echoes of the period leading up to 9/11: Warnings were sounded, including at the highest levels of government, but the president was deaf to them until the enemy had already struck.

Reasons:

  • Trump administration received notification on January 3rd, 2020, of the outbreak in China.
  • Intelligence agencies briefed Trump on the outbreak but Trump and his orbit chose to ignore the severity of it and downplayed the crisis.
  • It took Trump 70 days to acknowledge COVID-19 was not a deadly strain of the flu but a disease with no cure that would not “miraculously” go away.

“Because of the President’s leadership we will emerge from this challenge healthy, stronger, and with a prosperous and growing economy.”

-Judd Deere
  • The greatest failure of the Trump administration’s handling of the spread “involved a breakdown in efforts to develop a diagnostic test that could be mass produced and distributed across the United States, enabling agencies to map early outbreaks of the disease, and impose quarantine measure to contain them.”
  • With the help from Fox ‘News’ and other conservative networks, Trump supporters also did not take the spread of the disease seriously and would not adopt the CDC recommendations of social distancing and staying at home.
  • Numerous red states still do not have stay at home orders in place, fueling the fire that has jeopardized people’s health and well-being.

“This has been a real blow to the sense that America was competent. That was part of our global role. Traditional friends and allies looked to us because they thought we could be competently called upon to work with them in a crisis. This has been the opposite of that.”

-Gregory F. Treverton, a former chairman of the National Intelligence Council

Although The Washington Post does have a paywall, I believe, not entirely sure, that they offer articles related to the COVID-19 crisis for free. If not, they’re always offering deals, which I highly suggest taking advantage of.

The article follows the 70 days from the time Trump was first notified about the spread of the disease and warned of an impending world wide pandemic, which he chose to ignore, down-play, and offered up unfounded, factually inaccurate information related to the disease. Please take a moment to read the article in its entirety.

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