U.S. response to COVID-19 flops while cases and deaths increase

Is this pandemic bringing out the best in us, or revealing our true colors?


In January, the Trump Administration called the coronavirus pandemic a Democratic hoax and blamed the virus’ spread on the Democratic open borders policy, as American citizens began to die. (Photo courtesy of imgbin.com)

Clifton Bullock, Staff Writer

Now is not the time to sugarcoat the American response with a grandiose façade of patriotism. If we are honest with ourselves, we would own our truth and admit that the American response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to be polite, has been hokum. From the executive office to the citizens, from the economy to healthcare, it’s been an absolute cluster.

 COVID-19 has exposed our health care system with its lack of resources such as personal protective equipment, ventilators and even forced medical professionals to choose and prioritize certain lives over others. It exposed the vulnerability of those who don’t have medical insurance and literally—not use the term lightly—is taking the breath of citizens; choking them with capitalism’s strong grip which is also gripping this country’s soul. 

We need to identify the flaws of capitalism and correct them. Food should not rot because it can’t be sold for profit. Milk should not spoil and go to waste for the same reason. Homeless people should not sleep in marked parking lots in Las Vegas while hotel rooms remain vacant. America needs to search its soul, or get off its high moral horse and again own its truth. 

The coronavirus exposed the selfishness of our citizens, who in a panic, storm grocery and drug stores and eviscerated shelves of hand sanitizer, toilet paper, eggs and even ramen, leaving our elderly without.

 Like the epidemic of drugs and poverty; the federal government does what it does with any situation it doesn’t understand; it declares war against it. The person who acts as the president of the United States is culpable for the delayed response which he takes no responsibility, yet choses to politicize the pandemic. 

What’s noteworthy, according to a Time article on the subject, this administration was privied in January of COVID-19 and downplayed its seriousness, even calling it a Democratic hoax as American citizens began to die. 

Throughout February, [President Donald] Trump dismissed Democrats’ alarm about the virus as their new ‘hoax,”’ blamed ‘the Democrat policy of open borders’ for the pathogen’s spread,” Haley Edwards wrote in the Times article. 

Trump is using his office as a partisan pulpit to grandstand, to stroke his own ego while members of his administration like Vice President Mike Pence loyally and blindly continue to drum up his leadership. With every opportunity he receives television airtime, Pence praises the president’s efforts in handling the crisis; aiding this administration’s lack of competency in executive governance and aiding the descension of trust. 

According to an April 9 Daily News article, CNN accused the Pence office of prohibiting top health officials from appearing on the network unless they broadcast the White House’s lengthy coronavirus press briefings in full. These briefings are when Pence touts Trump’s agenda while doing damage control for the lackadaisical response by this administration. 

 Dr. Anthony Fauci and other advisors who are part of the White House Coronavirus Taskforce are trying to provide quantitative information, commonsense instruction, and advice to help “flatten the curve.” 

The phrase “flatten the curve,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Introduction to Epidemiology, Epidemic Disease Occurrence section, refers to the graph called the epidemic curve.

The president has the temerity to give antithetical advice in order to appease his constituents while also trying to save face on his administration’s efforts. If there was ever a sham presidency, this is it.

There is more concern about the economic impact versus the lives of the medical personnel in a real-life battle on the frontlines of one of the greatest health crises our country, no scratch that, the world has seen in generations.

The American government response to COVID-19 is a failure and definitively highlights the lack of leadership from the top down.

 Citizens, especially those college students in Florida on spring break, who believed coronavirus shouldn’t stop them from having a good time are an example of the sometimes selfishness of Americans. This is not the time to kvetch about your freedoms being taken away. Lives are at stake. It’s not always about you.

 Don’t get me wrong, there have been stories of those who put community before self and they need to be recognized. There have been signs humanity hasn’t lost all hope; those people are heroes to all of us. There are bistros and restaurants who face uncertainty willing to provide free meals for first responders or for the homeless. There are teachers that drive by their pupils’ homes just to wave, give smiles and be familiar faces.

There are distilleries that, instead of making our favorite bourbon or vodka, have volunteered to make hand sanitizer. Some citizens have been willing to risk illness to get groceries for the elderly who are afraid to leave their homes. 

The Americans we should recognize are the grocery store workers risking their lives and the safety of their families to ensure depleted shelves are restocked. We should recognize our medical professionals who everyday fulfil their oath of duty to serve the sick even at times without the provisions they need.   

 They and they alone should be the face of the American effort and not the anathema that is Trump and his administration. While our streets are desolate, our hearts are full and hopeful. We are hopeful that we can meet the challenge and flatten the curve. We are hopeful the selfless will outnumber the selfish. 

We are hopeful to learn from the tragic experience, we are hopeful some will apostate from partisanship, we are hopeful that we will overcome fear and exude the idea of what the American spirit is supposed to be.