COVID-19 in America

From CNN:

As the US plunges into an ever deeper coronavirus morass, setting record new infection rates and the death curve begins to rise again, there’s no prospect of the nightmare ending for months.

Delusion dominates an administration that perversely claims the United States is the world leader in beating this modern day plague. There are only contradictions, obfuscations and confusion from the federal officials who ought to be charting a national course.

The massive integrated testing and tracing effort that could highlight and isolate infection epicenters doesn’t exist. Attempts to reopen schools in a few weeks are already descending into farce amid conflicting messages from Washington.

Amid all of this, the coronavirus task force does not hold daily briefings, and when it does, they are an exercise in dodging difficult questions and self-congratulation.

Months into the worst domestic crisis since World War II, there is no sense that a fractured country is pulling together to confront a common enemy. People are still arguing about wearing masks — a tiny infringement of personal freedoms that represents one of the few hopes of easing the contagion. The one federal official who does seem to have answers, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has been banished to the podcast circuit by President Donald Trump, who was on Fox News Thursday night boasting about acing a cognitive test as the US hit another daily record of infections — over 60,000 — on a day on which more than 900 new deaths were reported.


7 responses to “COVID-19 in America

  1. This is all very sad and hard to watch. The last few months of the Hoover presidency might have been a bit like this. That was a time when the country drifted in an emergency with a president who was clueless as to how to address the problems the country faces. I am no Biden fan, but anything would be better than Trump. A magic eight ball would occasionally provide a productive answer, this guy appears to be constitutionally unable to embrace any truth/fact/position that is not grounded in his delusions of competence.

  2. I’m so sorry. This feckless indifference, this distraction with everything else while a pandemic tears through your country might be the worst thing I’ve yet seen of this presidency. My world changed when I watched the last conservative government inititate two wars on another continent. For all the damage that wrought, there was at least a skein of ethics, a causus belli of sorts, however hollow, predicated on the death of nearly three thousand Americans and others. I could never have imagined that two presidents later I would see something worse. An ignorant narcissist in the oval office, a tin-pot despot abetted by a venal party, overseeing a domestic crisis that has superceded the mortality of 9/11 every single week since the beginning of April.

    I’m so very sorry, my cousins. I don’t know what comfort to offer you.

    You have the numbers. Get out the vote. It’s the only light I can see for you. Another term is unconscionable. He has to go. The party has to be ousted. For a mulittudfe of reasons, but mainly because of the revolting indifference to this plague and the continuing deaths of Americans. They never acknowledge it. Like it hasn’t happened. They never sympathise, never seem to care. The entire administration seems sociopathic, and the majority of the party with them.

    It’s a nightmare. I’m so sorry for you.

  3. When the US entered WW2 Churchill and other leaders recommended the US adopt the convoy system for their ships to limit the losses from German subs. The convoy system had dramatically reduced the losses of ships. It was a hard earned lesson that cost thousands of lives.

    The US declined to use it, and rejected the hard won advice. As a result, in the first six months of entering the war they lost more tonnage (sunk) than had been lost by all other nations in the first 18 months of the war. After six months the US adopted the convoy system.

    We learn these things in history class as an object lesson, eg, learn from others’ mistakes, be humble enough to take advice, examine data objectively, your nation isn’t exempt from consequences just because you think you’re special, and my favourite from a cynical prof was, if all other nations have adopted policies and made them successful, then expect the US to royally screw up when they try their home-grown version of the policy. Eg health care, gun control, numerous social safety nets, rehabilitation, even Christianity (the version in the US is Christianity in name only).

    This COVID crises is just another data point that supports that cynical prof who said the only exceptionalism the US has is in its ability to get wrong what most other nations get right.

    We really don’t want to open our border to the US. Not until you have grown-ups leading the country again. Or at least till we have a vaccine.

    • An older case in point is the lighthouse system. The US lagged for decades, due to a combination of penny-pinching and cronyism. The result was a lot of dead sailors.

  4. What Chris said ^2.

    Back when I was an active pilot, the Canadian Aviation Safety Letter had a masthead motto: “Learn from the mistakes of others. You won’t live long enough to make them all yourself.” How many others will die before the White House learns?

    The U.S. is currently being led by someone that resembles the fellow in the joke where his wife phones him during his drive home. She warns him that the news was reporting a driver driving the wrong way on the freeway he normally used. His answer: “It’s not just one! There are hundreds of them!”

  5. The talk of Donald T Rump and his “acing a cognitive test” reminds me of a friend of a friend of many-years-gone-by who continued to assured us he was ‘compos mentis’ because how could it be otherwise? Did he not have a certificate saying he was legally ‘compos mentis’?
    The circumstance with the sad situation of Donald T Rump and his “acing a cognitive test” does appear to be very similar, what with his serious narcissistic disorders etc.

  6. Of course we all know that America is a big continent, and is much more than the USA. Here is a chart showing weekly running means of daily cases, from March, 1 to July, 10:

    In green you see the whole America from Canada down to Chile.
    USA is in orange, Brazil in black.

    And in blue you see what you obtain when extracting the USA and Brazil out of America :-)

    Data source: ECDC

    J.-P. D.