From Los Angeles County becoming the first county in the United States to surpass one million confirmed cases of COVID-19, to California becoming the first state in the United States to surpass 3 million cases, to the total number of cases in the United States exceeded 24 million…
Within days, a record epidemic data of one county, one state and a country was brutal The way summarizes the achievements of the United States in the past year.
There are more cruel facts: The latest statistics show that as of 14:21 Eastern Time on the 19th, the number of deaths from COVID-19 in the United States has exceeded 400,000!
Regardless of the measure, the severity of the epidemic in the United States ranks first in the world. What kind of mistake has made this world’s most comprehensive country come to where it is today?
“We had a chance”
The New York Times recently published a long article entitled How the United States laid its own failure, pointing out that political polarization and the rejection of science have greatly hindered the ability of the United States to prevent and control the epidemic, and the most obvious and serious harm is caused by the White House.
After interviewing hundreds of health, politicians and community leaders across the United States, and consulting some emails and government records, the reporter of The New York Times summarized the root causes of the failure of the United States’ anti-epidemic by sorting out the spring, summer, autumn and winter of the epidemic experience in the United States.
Spring: A misin’t chance to restart in a hurry
Public health experts believe that most of the current cases in the United States can be traced back to the turning point of last April. Before that, the first outbreak in the northeast, such as New York, caused most states to impose stay-at-home orders.
If virus detection and contact tracing were strengthened at that time and work and school closures were continued, there would be a good chance to prevent the spread of the epidemic. However, the White House publicly encouraged states to restart their economies in mid-April, causing the epidemic to resume and worse.
The most obvious consequences of the restart are in Texas. After a full reopening in April, the state’s daily increase in cases from late May to late July soared tenfold, from about 1,000 to 10,000. In the words of Dr. Jose Vazquez, director of the Texas Starr County Health Bureau, the epidemic developed “like wildfires in the bush”.
As the epidemic continued to worsen, Texas eventually became the second state in the United States to surpass one million cases after California.
Summer: Science is fully aside
This is also a period when science has been marginalized by all levels of government in the United States, and directly triggered the largest wave of public health officials leaving in American history. Since the outbreak of the epidemic in the United States, hundreds of state and local health officials have been fired or resigned voluntarily.
Florida’s anti-epidemic performance was the most typical anti-science example at that time. Florida Governor DeSantis, a close political ally of President Trump, ignored the professional opinions of scientists and asked Atlas, a White House “pseudo-expert”, who advocated “herd immunity” and other evils. It was they who jointly pushed schools to resume face-to-face teaching in August, which eventually made Florida the third state in the United States with more than one million cases.
Autumn: Masks continue to be ignored
Although scientific evidence amply shows that masks can help effective epidemic prevention, until last fall, at least 26 states still resisted masks and other epidemic prevention recommendations.
In this regard, South Dakota is the most representative. Although it was already one of the states with the highest COVID-19 death rate in the United States at the time, Governor Christie Nome publicly devalued the effectiveness of masks. More striking was the Sturgis International Motorcycle Conference in the state last summer, when hundreds of thousands of participants without masks finally created the largest super-spreading event in the United States to date.
Ironically, Trump himself was diagnosed with the coronavirus in the fall, but he still insisted that the epidemic in the United States was at an “inflection point” and that the virus would soon “disappear”.
Winter: Record number of deaths
At this time, almost all parts of the United States have been affected after nearly a year of political disagreement and uncontrolled spread of the virus. Take California, the worst-hit state, the nation’s most populous state, which first implemented stay-at-home orders last spring and once contained the outbreak; but with the winter onset, it took a detour again.
At the time, U.S. media exposed how California Governor Gavin Newsom and San Francisco Mayor London Breed attended a birthday party at a French restaurant in Napa Valley, criticizing them for “saying one thing and doing one another”.
In Southern California, there are many people who oppose the mask order and stay-at-home order. Health officials have noted that those who relaxed their vigilance during Thanksgiving have brought the state’s epidemic to a turning point again.
“With the calendar turning a new page…”
The United States accounts for only 4% of the global population, but the number of deaths from COVID-19 accounts for 20% of the world. In the words of the New York Times article, “The United States, which has wealth, technology and national strength, has now become the country with the most infection and death toll”.
The article noted that the pandemic presents significant challenges to the United States, including the creation of record unemployment, but no state would have been able to completely stop the spread without the White House’s national strategy.” There is a gap between serious and inscruciful countries in adopting restrictive measures.”
The article concludes with an unconcerned reminder that the five days with the highest number of single-day illness in the United States appeared in January this year.” As the calendar turns a new page, the virus is becoming more terrible than ever.”
It is true. According to CNN, a study estimates that the number of infections in the United States is actually four times higher than reported, and about 35% of deaths may not be reported.
Meanwhile, the CDC has warned that mutant COVID-19 may become the main virus spreading in the United States by March.
Judging from the current anti-epidemic chaos in the United States, the mistakes that have been made for a year have not been fundamentally corrected, and various politically drawn anti-epidemic disputes continue.
In the words of Dr. Marissa, a public health expert at the University of South Florida, first the White House and then the state leadership mistakes, which led to polarization of the entire epidemic response and the extension of the life of the virus, “these costs show the huge failure of the U.S. government at all levels”.