Fascinating Guardian Article on The Epic Failure of the US Against Coronavius

In a democratic country it is often said you get the leaders that the people vote for. In this context the US is no different than any other democrazy. The US failed miserably in in its response against COVID-19 by political dithering and drama. In some ways the virus also exposes the weaknesses of the current political and healthcare structure and its total disarray. Far from being able to manage a crisis intelligently and smartly like one would expect from a powerful rich country, it acted like a banana republic with no leadership or control except a few leading to the current chaos and disaster. Indeed future historians will wonder on how the great country in the world was brought to its knees by a tiny virus.

The Guardian published an excellent article yesterday analyzing the response of the US and South Korea against the virus. From the piece:

When the definitive history of the coronavirus pandemic is written, the date 20 January 2020 is certain to feature prominently. It was on that day that a 35-year-old man in Washington state, recently returned from visiting family in Wuhan in China, became the first person in the US to be diagnosed with the virus

On the very same day, 5,000 miles away in Asia, the first confirmed case of Covid-19 was reported in South Korea. The confluence was striking, but there the similarities ended.

In the two months since that fateful day, the responses to coronavirus displayed by the US and South Korea have been polar opposites.

One country acted swiftly and aggressively to detect and isolate the virus, and by doing so has largely contained the crisis. The other country dithered and procrastinated, became mired in chaos and confusion, was distracted by the individual whims of its leader, and is now confronted by a health emergency of daunting proportions.

Within a week of its first confirmed case, South Korea’s disease control agency had summoned 20 private companies to the medical equivalent of a war-planning summit and told them to develop a test for the virus at lightning speed. A week after that, the first diagnostic test was approved and went into battle, identifying infected individuals who could then be quarantined to halt the advance of the disease.

Some 357,896 tests later, the country has more or less won the coronavirus war. On Friday only 91 new cases were reported in a country of more than 50 million.

The US response tells a different story. Two days after the first diagnosis in Washington state, Donald Trump went on air on CNBC and bragged: “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming from China. It’s going to be just fine.”

Source: The missing six weeks: how Trump failed the biggest test of his life, The Guardian

The complete article is worth a read.

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