Politics Magazine

The United States Is Still Unable To Control COVID-19

Posted on the 16 July 2020 by Jobsanger
The United States Is Still Unable To Control COVID-19 (This map is from The New York Times.)
Most of the world's developed nations acted early and responsibly to control the spread of the COVID-19 spread -- and they have been successful. But one developed nation has not been successful -- the United States. The U.S. government delayed action, badly mishandled the response, and then tried to reopen the economy far too soon. The result is that the virus continues to rage across the country, and there is little hope of controlling it anytime soon.
Here is part of how Griff Witte, Mary Beth Sheridan, Joanna Slater, and Liz Sly describe the situation in The Washington Post.
When the United States began shutting down this spring, a virus that emerged months earlier as a mysterious outbreak in a Chinese provincial capital had infected a total of fewer than 200,000 people worldwide.
So far this week, the planet has added an average of more than 200,000 cases every day.
The novel coronavirus — once concentrated in specific cities or countries — has now crept into virtually every corner of the globe and is wreaking havoc in multiple major regions at once.
But the impact is not being felt evenly. Poorer nations throughout Latin America, the Middle East, South Asia and Africa are bearing a growing share of the caseload, even as wealthier countries in Western Europe and East Asia enjoy a relative respite after having beaten back the worst effects through rigorously enforced lockdowns.
And then there’s the United States, which leads the world in new cases and, as with many nations that possess far fewer resources, has shown no sign of being able to regain control.
Nearly all the countries struggling with a surge share something in common: After weeks or months of trying to suppress the virus, they reopened their economies, only to find that the virus came roaring back. Now they are using a more limited arsenal to contain the spread, with little success.
“Let me be blunt: Too many countries are headed in the wrong direction,” World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus declared in Geneva this week. “The virus remains public enemy number one, but the actions of many governments and people do not reflect this.”
The severity of the toll on the United States was evident in new infection figures released Tuesday, with multiple states — including Oklahoma and Nevada — hitting record highs. Florida has now reported more cases in the past week — nearly 78,000 — than most European nations have in their entire struggle with covid-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus.

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