It’s not a new idea but I think the development of events has caused us to rationalize a horrifying level of incompetence and deaths which are preventable, and have been prevented in many other countries around the world that are not acting idiotically.
From the attacks on 9/11 about 3,000 people died.
As I write this on June 22nd, 2020 120,000 people have died in the US.
This is 40 times— FORTY times– 9/11. 9/11 altered US domestic and foreign policy for decades and no doubt was a tragedy and people still take off their shoes in airports because of 9/11. This pandemic has barely started in the US and the death toll is already 40 times worse. This so far is the same number of people dying from coronavirus as if we had 9/11 happen once a year for forty years, meaning every year since 1980.
This is a failure of leadership, plain and simple. However, I think the level of incompetence, lies, misinformation and abdication of responsibility is absolutely criminal. The US response is a playbook of exactly what not to do and is both an embarrassment across the world and as a country that considers itself a model of…. really anything.
And recently what has happened? Trump has hosted an indoor rally in Tulsa creating a potential super-spreader event because the tough Trump supporters don’t believe in wearing masks because masks are political.
Trump has outright said that he wanted to slow the testing because if you test people more than you find more cases.
“When you do testing to that extent, you’re going to find more people, you’re going to find more cases. So I said to my people, slow the testing down, please.”
The person who is the president in the country, that is helping direct trillions of dollars and federal action is actively undermining any competent response.
Trump goes to visit a factory making coronavirus test swabs in Maine and the swabs need to be discarded because he won’t wear a mask. You can’t make this up.
It seems important to me to write this and document this at this time because the bar has fallen so, so low, that people dismiss the deaths of over 100,000 people. We should demand leaders in the country who help solve problems, not cause and exacerbate them.
116,000 people died in the US in World War I — more people have died so far in coronavirus.
I saw a clip online, which is sad–but really it is tragic–and it was a Trump supporter, who shares that a friend had died from coronavirus but they still don’t believe information about it because it’s political.
“We had a friend who died from Covid, and his son was on a ventilator, he almost died. So we know it’s real, but then at the same time you don’t know what the facts are, you feel like maybe one side plays it one way and the other side plays it another.” [video]
What do they do in sane countries? It isn’t complicated and there are lots of examples to look around and compare.
- Take it seriously
- Provide actual health information
- Rapidly had strict quarantines
- Lots of testing
- Enforce wearing mask
- Contact tracing
Here is what the daily new case curve looks like with a real response:
What about the US?
See more here: https://www.endcoronavirus.org/countries
What has Trump done?
- Did not take action for months when he had information
- Downplayed seriousness
- Promoted fraudulent treatments and bad health information
- Activity promoted not wearing masks
Here’s how the overall death toll compares:
The US is not treating this with the seriousness that it is. And it seems to me, based on the culture of the US, the impatience, and the desire for things to just be normal, we are resigned to this going on far longer and being far worse than it is in other countries.
For comparison, let’s look at Arizona vs New Zealand.
Arizona has a population of 7.2 million. New Zealand has a population of 4.9 million.
New Zealand graph and dates of actions
Arizona graph and dates of actions
So far, 22 people died in New Zealand. 1,342 have died so far in Arizona. If you adjusted for population New Zealand would be at 32.
Of course, in Arizona, as the virus is still highly prevalent everything “reopens” and cases spike. And in Texas, and in Florida where they pushed to reopen early.
Yes, the consequences of Trump and then Republican governors not taking any science seriously is just causing tens of thousands of unneeded deaths. It is really a tragedy.
I find the lies from Trump to be particularly disturbing in this time. People need health information to stay safe. It is a new virus, it is hard to understand, and Trump is promoting horrible information to people who then take it as gospel. Trump says cases were going down when they were going up. This up is down world that he lives in is insanity. Trump said anyone could get a test. Most people couldn’t get a test for a long time. Trump has promoted treatments that are more likely to kill people. Trump has called the pandemic a hoax.
Trump told people to inject disinfectant. Literally the president of the US said this.
“I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning? … It would be interesting to check that.”
Here’s a sourced list with many of the harmful lies Trump has told about coronavirus. The impact here is that people are dying.
Sites with data sources: