It is now certain that owing to a lack of the kind of early interventions used in successful responses to the Coronavirus pandemic in places such as Singapore, Hong Kong, and South Korea, we in America have missed the window for effective containment of the epidemic in this country. We are now on a track to a much more severe national experience of the epidemic, on par with Italy, Iran, and China.
Note the similarity in the trajectory of the epidemic in Italy and the U.S., and realize that Italy did not suffer the severe lack of testing resources that we have, so our infection rate is almost certainly grossly under-represented by this graph:
Rates of early testing are key to containment efforts, and few were as ill-prepared on this metric as the United States has been, and continues to be. The graph below reflects number of test per million of population deployed as of yesterday:
Click through on all those links above: you need to understand how disparate the severity of outbreak has been when well-managed, versus mismanaged. There is a huge delta in the economic and medical costs of this epidemic, and the determinant of that difference is early and effective measures to test for and contain the outbreak.
The Trump Admin’s lack of timely early responses have allowed Coronavirus to infiltrate the American population at large. This pandemic has been loosed on the American public by Trump’s failures as a leader.
If America had swiftly adopted the best-practice responses demonstrated by successful governments, such as fully contact tracing and isolating all known infections, mandatory testing for those revealed to have been exposed by that tracing, and an effective and early coordinated regime of travel restrictions, social distancing, public closures, and proper population screening protocols, then we could have contained this outbreak at hundreds or, perhaps, thousands of cases.
Instead, there very likely will be hundreds of thousands, or millions of cases in America.
Instead of some short-term inconveniences, like those incurred by Hong Kong or Singapore, we are having to “shelter in place” in major American cities — potentially for weeks, even months.
Instead of merely billions of lost economic activity and incomes, we are looking at an economic toll in the trillions.
Instead of dozens or hundreds of dead Americans, we are looking at thousands, or tens of thousands of premature American deaths.
Someone must be held responsible for all those preventable deaths, and all that economic pain. No one is more proximate to the decisions and failures that led to this outcome that the President of the United States, Donald Trump.
Trump will do everything he can to avoid taking that responsibility, of course. It should now be the main objective of the Democratic Party in the upcoming general election to make sure that Americans clearly understand that Trump is responsible for those deaths and economic pain, and why.
He disbanded the pandemic response leadership in his National Security Council that could have guided his decisions and accelerated his administration’s response. He mocked and denied the outbreak when he should have been taking action. He failed to waive and streamline agency responses that delayed test deployment and use.
Here are links to some of the best journalism examining those decisions and failures to act. You should read them and keep reading new stories on the subject as they come out. A TLDR is not really an option here, you have to know the details and continue to follow the ongoing journalistic endeavors to uncover the full story to be an effective advocate and informed citizen. And, frankly, a lot of you have nothing better to do right now, thanks to Trump.
Once you realize that it didn’t have to be this way, that we could and would have done better with pro-active, data-driven, competent leadership in the Federal government, you should be furious. Deadly furious.
You should begin to anticipate American hospitals will be over-run with desperately sick people, dying due to a lack of resources to care for them, as they are now in Italy, and realize that it didn’t have to be this way.
The reason this nightmare is now our present reality, and likely future, is wholly Donald Trump’s lack of character and lack of leadership. His failure as a leader is a menace to the safety, security, and health of the American people, not to mention disastrous for our economy. His compete indifference to nuance, and utter incompetence at his job could be blithely ignored when things were going well, but now that things are not well, those traits in a leader are simply deadly.
Those many, many dead Americans and their grieving families whom you will see in the media in the coming days, weeks, and months, are dead for one reason: because Donald Trump is the President.
For the safety of the Republic, this state of affairs cannot be allowed to continue. Vote as if your life depended on it. We have been unsubtly reminded that it literally does.