A report in The Atlantic reveals that America is totally botching its response to the coronavirus. Far fewer people are being tested than the government claims and even the numbers the government claims are far fewer than would be necessary for anyone to say that the country is effectively responding to the epidemic. We have no idea how bad things actually are. We cannot treat sick people if we do not know their sickness. We cannot fight an epidemic without information about the rate and extent of its spread.
When asked, the president lied, saying the coronavirus was contained. He has sent out his most reliable pathological liar to obfuscate and spin the matter.
In addition to the incompetence and the lies of the Trump administration about addressing the outbreak, we have clear evidence that addressing the actual outbreak is not the administration’s top priority. Look no further than the daily news about the administration’s response to the economic fallout of coronavirus as opposed to the epidemic itself. Interest rates are lowered. Tax relief for the airline, travel, and cruise industries is fast-tracked. The stock market is considered the barometer of a public health crisis.
Can Congress help? It’s hard to see how. The most prominent congressman in the news yesterday was a Colorado representative who wielded an AR-15 rifle he keeps in his office, daring Joe Biden to “come and take it.” He is the same congressman who, while first campaigning in 2010, championed the idea of privatizing the Centers for Disease Control.
This is a national scandal. People will die as a result of the Trump administration’s incompetence, knowing malfeasance, and an overarching lack of seriousness and lack of appreciation of the dangers of this outbreak. Not that this is an accident. To the contrary, this is the inevitable result of over 40 years of those in power casting government the enemy and making government-led health initiatives a particularly sinister enemy. All of this is the result of gutting government of policy and scientific expertise. All of this is the result of letting the president lie with impunity.
We, as a nation, are about to reap what we have sown. And it will be a grim reaping indeed.