A Dangerous Moment - The COVID-19 Pandemic in the United States
An unusual increase in SARS CoV-2 infections and an enhancement of the COVID-19 epidemic in the United States are disturbing and dangerous. Disturbances come from President Trump’s cavalier and inept handling of the epidemic, emphasized by his constant prevarications, departure from reality, misleading the American public, and sidetracking the important health issue into becoming an economic issue.
Danger arises from the nation losing confidence in its medical agencies, from medical fatigue, and from criticized medical personnel losing faith in themselves. Unlike other nations that faced a rapid rise in cases and deaths due to lack of preparedness and were able to readjust, provide adequate resources, satisfactorily engage the epidemic and reduce it to a manageable situation within three months, the United States has struggled with the epidemic for four months and has a case load and death load not much less than those at the beginning of May. Recorded deaths on July 14 are 935, not much less than the 1074 on May 3. Will medical personnel be able to cope much longer with an epidemic that has no end in sight and with personal and physical situations that have no social compensation and psychological balance? Will a nation be able to retain confidence in its leaders when its president shows little compassion and uses a press conference to attack his opponents rather than to soothe his citizens?
Trump’s use of a White House press conference as a campaign speech that attacks his opponent and twists the facts is inexcusable and incomprehensible. Although Presidents, unlike civil servants are not subject to penalties for electioneering on government grounds, no decent and honorable Chief Executive would blacken the White House with that advantage. Trump’s statements on COVID-19 before a captured and immobile audience added to the stream of lies he has already told.
Continuation of a contagion beyond its half-life has exhausted the nation. Following guidelines and rules and then observing they have not resolved the situation leads to hopelessness. Hopelessness leads to desperation. Desperation clouds rational decision. Making irrational decisions, which is occurring from several state governors, is a dangerous state. The bottom line is that with 4-5 percent of the world’s population, the United States has 25 percent of the COVID-19 cases and 25 percent of the COVID-19 deaths, a statistic that remains and continues to slowly rise, and without end in sight.
july 15, 2020