Trump, as you probably know, embarrassed himself last week while trying to explain how the United States is handling the pandemic well during an interview with Axios reporter Jonathan Swan. He fumbled with charts designed to make his handling of the coronavirus appear acceptable and referenced books and manuals that do not exist. He looked confused, angry, and out of touch with reality.
It was a disaster.
Just yesterday, in the wake of a rising death rate, with an American dying every 80 seconds of COVID-19, Trump said, “The country’s in very good shape. We’re ready to rock and roll. This thing is going away. It will go away like things go away.”
Solid plan. Rather than instituting a universal mask policy and instituting national testing and contact tracing like almost every other developed nation on the planet, Trump is using the ever-powerful strategy of wishful thinking in order to combat this pandemic.
The most stark and telling numbers to keep in mind are the total number of deaths in the United States compared to other nations in the world. The United States represents about 4% if the world’s population, but it has 25% of all COVID-19 deaths.
That doesn’t just happen. A disparity like this requires mismanagement of epic proportions.
Here are the figures on total deaths as of yesterday:
United States: 158,256
South Korea: 302
Every one of the countries on my list has a population exceeding 30 million people. Vietnam, a nation that shares a border with China, has nearly 100 million people. Japan’s population is 126 million.
Add up the populations of all 8 countries on my list and they far exceed the United States in total number of people. But the number of deaths in those 8 combined nations is just 22,000.
Even in countries where COVID-19 deaths are higher, there is a stark difference between the rate of death in those countries versus the United States.
Spain, France, Italy, and the UK all have suffered more than 30,000 COVID-19 related deaths since the pandemic began, but here is their daily death tolls in comparison to the United States for yesterday:
United States: 1,146
Only Brazil recorded more deaths yesterday than the United States, but their total number of deaths is still about half that of the United States.
India and Mexico are the only other nation with daily death rates in the hundreds, but even they have fewer than 50,000 deaths each.
The United States stands alone in total number of deaths and total number of daily deaths, and in almost every case by wide margins.
The wealthiest, most powerful, most technologically advanced nation on the planet has more coronavirus infection, more death, and a higher rate of death than any other nation on Earth.
This pandemic will not “go away like things go away” until Donald Trump goes away. Until we elect an adult who will surround himself with expertise, experience, professionalism, and a genuine concern for the American people, this pandemic will not get better.
Pockets of the country, like Connecticut, where a rapid, consistent, unrelenting response to this pandemic has resulted in an infection rate under 1% and a daily death rate consistently near zero, will do better.
New York, once the epicenter of the pandemic, has numbers consistent with Connecticut, as does New Jersey and almost all of the northeast. Statewide mask mandates, the closing of businesses like bars and churches, and other steps have made the northeast look more like Spain or France, where infection rates and deaths are extremely low.
The rest of the country could be experiencing infection and death rates like those in the northeast had Trump taken the same action. With nationwide testing and contact tracing, we could be doing even better. The economy that Trump so desperately wants to open – by Easter, by Memorial Day, by the Fourth of July – could actually be open right now had there been grown-ass men and women running our country.
Tens of thousands of Americans would still be alive had Trump and his administration followed the advice of experts.
November can’t come soon enough.