America is in trouble, with projections showing that there will be a massive surge in the number of coronavirus cases that will plague the third most populated country in the world.
“The virus … typically that will go away in April. The heat, generally speaking, kills this kind of virus.”
These were President Donald Trump’s words when the coronavirus had only infected 900 people around the world by 10 February. The US had 12 confirmed cases and the President was doing his best to calm fears over the spread, which would diminish investor confidence in the “greatest economy of all time” that he’s been boasting about for his entire term in the White House.
The figures, as of 25 March, stand at 54,867 infections and 782 deaths. In July last year, mere months before the COVID-19 outbreak, the Trump administration axed an important health official in Beijing, who was deployed to detect a potential outbreak. Prior to that, in 2018, Trump ordered a $65 million cut to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Even on 12 March, acting director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Pa), says that the administration will be sticking by its budget proposal to make a $9.5 billion reduction in funding to Health and Human Services, which would include a $1.5 billion (25%) cut to the CDC’s already stretched budget.
Remember that infamous moment on 9/11 when President George W. Bush was told about the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, while visiting a pre-school, to which his response was to just keep reading My Pet Goat with a look of utter horror and confusion on his face? This is what Trump is doing. The difference is that President Bush, a man who now looks far less the fool than we thought he was 20 years ago, was alone in that moment of indecision. Trump seems more like he’s emboldened to stand by his gut instincts and downplay the virus, despite having been briefed on its impeding threat by his US Intelligence way back in January AND February.
Perhaps worst of all, President Trump invoked the Defense Production Act last week , a wartime measure that gives him executive authority to order private industries to manufacture urgently required products and equipment like ventilators and masks, for which there is a monumental shortage in the country. Yet, despite the urgent need for timely action, Trump has yet to order the automotive industry or any of America’s other massive manufacturers to get to work on producing these items in this time of blatantly clear crisis, arguing that he thinks its unfair to set businesses back in this period of economic meltdown. Watch this video of Trump’s argument with NBC reporter, Peter Alexander, where he’s posed very simple questions about his response to the coronavirus outbreak:
And let us not forget that, when the outbreak began, Trump actually handed the control over executive powers for the crisis to Vice President Mike Pence. Rather than stand up as a leader, and the “strongman” he claims to be, Trump withdrew and handed the responsibility over to a man who has a history of anti-gay rhetoric which led to his failure to deal with an HIV outbreak in his state of Indiana. That’s right, Mike Pence cannot stop the spread of a sexually transmitted disease, let alone one that is as easily contractible as the coronavirus. It was only when Trump realized that the pandemic could hurt his chances of re-election that he took the mantle back. And all of Trump’s decisions have now led to this point:
While the US has roughly 15,000 less cases less than Italy and about 27,000 less than China, they are still some way behind in terms of the time elapsed since the first recorded infection. In other words, their “curve” is not flattening, it’s rising. They are now well ahead of where both China and Italy were at this stage of their respective pandemics and stand significantly higher than the global average of a 33% daily increase in infections. The city of New York is by far the most affected part of the country, with confirmed cases now standing at over 23,000 which accounts for about 5% of the cases worldwide. It must be said, though, that Governor Andrew Cuomo has done a pretty good job in his response to the outbreak and he now says that the city is conducting 16,000 tests daily.
However, for all its protestation over border control, America has open borders. It always has and it always will… between states. It takes just one person crossing state lines between New York and New Jersey or Connecticut or Pennsylvania to spread the virus to the rest of the country. And it’s easy. There is no such thing as a dedicated border control for state borders. And there are almost 330 million people living in the United States. It would be simply impossible to keep track of all of them.
Effectively, the country is a cesspool right now. And worst of all is their failing, unaffordable healthcare system that’s guilty of price gauging at even the best of times and completely lacks the capacity to handle what is about to come. There are tens of millions of Americans that are completely uninsured, countless more under-insured and it’s a daily habit for most Americans to avoid trips to the doctor. And, let’s not forget that one of Trump’s first acts in office was his failed attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). If he had had his way, the country would be in an even worse position…
So the rest of the world should pay close attention to what’s happening in the US, because they could be making Italy’s outbreak look insignificant.
On November 8, 2016, the entire world stood aghast as we watched Hillary Clinton concede the general election to Donald Trump and now our jaws will be dropping to the floor as we watch events unfold in what is supposed to be the greatest country in the world. Americans are going to pay the price for electing Donald Trump. Hopefully leaders from around the world will learn the lesson as to what the result of failing to act can be.