NY Times Op-Ed: How Did the ‘Best-Prepared Country’ Become a Horror Story?

Below is the snapshot of the top 10 countries by cases:

Click to enlarge

Source:  Covid World Map: Tracking the Global Outbreak, NY Times

The following is an excerpt from Mr.Kristof’s piece titled “How Did the ‘Best-Prepared Country’ Become a Horror Story?“:

It wasn’t as if the United States was unready. A 324-page study in October 2019 found that America was the best-prepared country in the world for a pandemic — but it didn’t imagine that the United States would fumble testing, data collection, contact tracing, communications and just about every other facet of managing a novel virus.

“The administration made every single mistake you could possibly make,” Larry Brilliant, an epidemiologist who early in his career helped eradicate smallpox, told me.

“We could have beaten it back,” Brilliant said. “We could have prevented the horror story we have now.”

Jeffrey Shaman, a public health expert at Columbia University, calculated that if each county in the United States had acted just two weeks earlier to order lockdowns or other control measures, then more than 90 percent of Covid-19 deaths could have been avoided through early May.

Shaman told me that his team didn’t model even earlier interventions, in January or February, but that he believes it would have been plausible for the United States to enjoy the Covid-19 mortality rate of South Korea. That would mean almost a 99 percent reduction in mortality.

Linsey Marr, an expert on disease transmission at Virginia Tech, isn’t sure that we could have achieved South Korean or (somewhat higher) Japanese levels of mortality, because both of those countries have more of a tradition of mask-wearing. But she does believe that we could have perhaps achieved German levels (meaning an 80 percent reduction in deaths).

“We would have saved a lot of lives,” she said. “Kids would be going back to school.”

Source: How Did the ‘Best-Prepared Country’ Become a Horror Story?, NY Times

The following chart shows the top ranked countries to deal with a pandemic from the study the author references:

Source: These are the countries best prepared for health emergencies, WEF

Of course, the above study was done last year before the world was hit with Covid-19. How wrong the study’s conclusions. Academic or theoretical reports such as these are made with a lot of assumptions. For example, they do not account for incompetence, overconfidence , chaos, etc. that have been glaringly revealed by the current coronavirus statistics in the country.

Years from now hundreds of books will be written about the pandemic and how the US bungled it so badly. It will even mention President at the time acted as a cheerleader for the country as thousands died on a daily basis. As one reader commented in the NY Times this is similar to the acting performed by infamous Baghdad Bob during the US invasion of Iraq.

One Comment

  1. I just saw your your latest anti Trump article entitled “How Did the ‘Best-Prepared Country’ Become a Horror Story?” I used to enjoy your web site when would post interesting information regarding foreign stock investing, as per the title of your blog and, oh yes, this is not the first time that you’ve strayed from the alleged intent of this site, that is to inform investors of potential overseas. opportunities. Maybe you would like tell us all exactly when you became another just another propaganda rag for the left? I guess that I need to remove you from my list of “investment” sites since I can always tune in to CNN, NBC, CBS or pick up a copy of your favorite publication, the New York Times if I ever need to experience some good Trump bashing.
    By the way, there seems to be a number of countries missing from your buddy Kristof’s “brilliant” analysis. Where is the information regarding death rates in Sweden for instance, a country that did not lock down at all? It was probably just an oversight. I doubt that The New York Times would ever deliberately leave out facts simply because they did support their agenda! Adios, Mr. Hunkar, topforeignstocks just became a non entity!

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