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Mon Aug 3, 2020, 08:22 PM

How the Pandemic Defeated America


How the Pandemic Defeated America
A virus has brought the world’s most powerful country to its knees.

Story by Ed Yong


(The Atlantic) How did it come to this? A virus a thousand times smaller than a dust mote has humbled and humiliated the planet’s most powerful nation. America has failed to protect its people, leaving them with illness and financial ruin. It has lost its status as a global leader. It has careened between inaction and ineptitude. The breadth and magnitude of its errors are difficult, in the moment, to truly fathom.

In the first half of 2020, SARS‑CoV‑2—the new coronavirus behind the disease COVID‑19—infected 10 million people around the world and killed about half a million. But few countries have been as severely hit as the United States, which has just 4 percent of the world’s population but a quarter of its confirmed COVID‑19 cases and deaths. These numbers are estimates. The actual toll, though undoubtedly higher, is unknown, because the richest country in the world still lacks sufficient testing to accurately count its sick citizens.

Despite ample warning, the U.S. squandered every possible opportunity to control the coronavirus. And despite its considerable advantages—immense resources, biomedical might, scientific expertise—it floundered. While countries as different as South Korea, Thailand, Iceland, Slovakia, and Australia acted decisively to bend the curve of infections downward, the U.S. achieved merely a plateau in the spring, which changed to an appalling upward slope in the summer. “The U.S. fundamentally failed in ways that were worse than I ever could have imagined,” Julia Marcus, an infectious-disease epidemiologist at Harvard Medical School, told me.

Since the pandemic began, I have spoken with more than 100 experts in a variety of fields. I’ve learned that almost everything that went wrong with America’s response to the pandemic was predictable and preventable. A sluggish response by a government denuded of expertise allowed the coronavirus to gain a foothold. Chronic underfunding of public health neutered the nation’s ability to prevent the pathogen’s spread. A bloated, inefficient health-care system left hospitals ill-prepared for the ensuing wave of sickness. Racist policies that have endured since the days of colonization and slavery left Indigenous and Black Americans especially vulnerable to COVID‑19. The decades-long process of shredding the nation’s social safety net forced millions of essential workers in low-paying jobs to risk their life for their livelihood. The same social-media platforms that sowed partisanship and misinformation during the 2014 Ebola outbreak in Africa and the 2016 U.S. election became vectors for conspiracy theories during the 2020 pandemic. ...............(more)

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/09/coronavirus-american-failure/614191/?



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Reply How the Pandemic Defeated America (Original post)
marmar Aug 2020 OP
Timewas Aug 2020 #1
Skittles Aug 2020 #2
onetexan Aug 2020 #7
Blue Owl Aug 2020 #3
Beartracks Aug 2020 #5
Beartracks Aug 2020 #4
Celerity Aug 2020 #6

Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Aug 3, 2020, 08:27 PM

1. Not Defeat

Abject surrender by leadership...Treason

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Response to Timewas (Reply #1)

Mon Aug 3, 2020, 08:41 PM

2. absolutley correct

lots of us have been responsible in our reaction to covid, from the start and without any real leadership

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Response to Timewas (Reply #1)

Tue Aug 4, 2020, 10:24 PM

7. Bingo - a complete dereliction of duty by the GOP & the Idiot

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Aug 3, 2020, 09:27 PM

3. Simply because tRump had to "undo" everything Obama had put in place

This article -- from April -- is the best summary I have seen as to how it got so out of control. And look how much worse it has gotten since April. It is safe to say that if Hillary were rightly elected, we would never have gone down this Covid-19 hole from which we may never return. And it's ALL tRump's fault.

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https://www.facebook.com/david.furnish/posts/10221822441167061

For those complaining about Trump being blamed for the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic numbers in America: a little history lesson for everyone on both sides of the political divide. I think it’s important that we understand the truth, especially come November when it’s time to vote. Forgive the length, but it’s really important to understand all the facts.

In December 2013, an 18-month-old boy in Guinea was bitten by a bat and died a brutal death a day later. After that, there were five more fatal cases. When Ebola spread out of the Guinea borders into neighboring Liberia and Sierra Leone in July 2014, President Obama activated the Emergency Operations Center at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. The CDC immediately deployed CDC personnel to West Africa to coordinate a response that included vector tracing, testing, education, logistics, and communication.

Altogether, the CDC, under President Obama, trained 24,655 medical workers in West Africa, educating them on how to prevent and control the disease before a single case left Africa or reached the U.S.

Working with the U.N. and the World Health Organization President Obama ordered the re-routing of travelers heading to the U.S. through certain specific airports equipped to handle mass testing.

Back home in America, more than 6,500 people were trained through mock outbreaks and practice scenarios. That was done before a single case hit America.

Three months after President Obama activated this unprecedented response, on September 30, 2014, we detected our first case in the U.S.A. A man had traveled from West Africa to Dallas and somehow slipped through the testing protocol. He was immediately detected and isolated. He died a week later. Two nurses who tended to him contracted Ebola but later recovered. All the protocols had worked. It was contained.

The Ebola epidemic could have easily become a pandemic, but thanks to the actions of our government under President Obama, it never did. Those THREE EBOLA CONFIRMED CASES were the ONLY cases of Ebola in the U.S.A. because Obama did what needed to be done THREE MONTHS PRIOR TO THE FIRST CASE.

Ebola is even more contagious than COVID-19. Had Obama not acted swiftly, millions of Americans would have died horrible, painful, deaths like something out of a horror movie (if you’ve never seen how Ebola kills, it’s horrific).

It is ironic because since President Obama acted decisively we forget about his actions since the disease never reached our shores.

Now the story of COVID-19 and Trump’s response that we know about thus far:

Before anyone even knew about the disease (even in China) Trump disbanded the pandemic response team that Obama had put in place. He cut funding to the CDC, and he cut our contribution to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Trump fired Rear Admiral Timothy Ziemer, the person on the National Security Council in charge of stopping the spread of infectious diseases before they reach our country - a position created by the Obama administration.

When the outbreak started in China, Trump assumed it was China’s problem and sent no research, supplies or help of any kind. We were in a trade war, why should he help them?

In January he received a briefing from our intelligence organizations that the outbreak was much worse than China was admitting and that it would definitely hit our country if something wasn’t done to prevent it. He ignored the report, not trusting our own intelligence.

When the disease spread to Europe, the World Health Organization offered a plethora of tests to the United States. Trump turned them down, saying private companies here would make the tests “better” if we needed them. However, he never ordered U.S. companies to make tests and they had no profit motive to do so on their own.

According to scientists at Yale and several public university medical schools, when they asked for permission to start working on our own testing protocol and potential treatments or vaccines, they were denied by Trump’s FDA.

When Trump knew about the first case in the United States he did nothing. It was just one case and the patient was isolated. When doctors and scientists started screaming in the media that this was a mistake, Trump claimed it was a “liberal hoax” conjured up to try to make him “look bad after impeachment failed.”

The next time Trump spoke of COVID-19, we had SIXTY-FOUR CONFIRMED CASES but Trump went before microphones and told the American public that we only had FIFTEEN cases “and pretty soon that number will be close to zero.” All while the disease was spreading, he took no action to get more tests.

What Trump did was to stop flights from China from coming here. This was too late and accomplished nothing according to scientists and doctors. By then the disease was worldwide and was already spreading exponentially in the U.S. by Americans, not Chinese people as Trump would like you to believe.

As of the moment, I am posting this, the evening of April 17, 2020, we have 706,309 COVID-19 CONFIRMED CASES and 37,000 COVID-19 DEATHS in the U.S.A. The actual number is undoubtedly more than triple that amount given ongoing limited availability of testing.

If you are as outraged as I am by all of this, the most important thing my friends in America can do is get out and vote in November.

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Response to Blue Owl (Reply #3)

Tue Aug 4, 2020, 01:48 AM

5. +1



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Response to marmar (Original post)

Tue Aug 4, 2020, 01:46 AM

4. America was a vulnerable population due to a history of co-morbidities...

... called Republicans.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Tue Aug 4, 2020, 03:41 AM

6. K & R for visibility

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