What a sane country would learn from coronavirus

America was broken long before the pandemic hit

A protester.
(Image credit: Illustrated | Getty Images, iStock)

Countries around the world are learning some hard lessons during the coronavirus pandemic. Ones that had their acts together — usually places that had recent experience of disease outbreaks, like Taiwan, Vietnam, South Korea, and Sierra Leone — acquitted themselves rather well. Ones that did not, like Sweden and the U.K., saw huge caseloads and mass death.

But nowhere has bungled things worse than the United States. It may well end up that some countries have worse epidemics relative to their population size, or that some U.S. communities escape disaster thanks to their state governments or dispersed geography, but the national American response has been basically nonexistent, despite our vast wealth and power. In almost every other rich country cases are now falling sharply, but here they have plateaued or even increased. The Trump administration appears to be all but giving up on attempts to control the spread and is itself forecasting huge increases in both cases and deaths, while the Democratic House has been almost wholly absent in the last month.

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