Yes I am SHOUTING.
That’s because this is about the most important thing you can read today.
The piece is titled How the Pandemic Defeated America and is subtitled “A virus has brought the world’s most powerful country to its knees.”
Yong, a staff writer for The Atlantic, actually warned before Trump was inaugurated how unprepared Trump was for a pandemic crisis he would inevitably face. As he writes in a short paragraph well into the piece
A month before his inauguration, I wrote that “the question isn’t whether [Trump will] face a deadly outbreak during his presidency, but when.” Based on his actions as a media personality during the 2014 Ebola outbreak and as a candidate in the 2016 election, I suggested that he would fail at diplomacy, close borders, tweet rashly, spread conspiracy theories, ignore experts, and exhibit reckless self-confidence. And so he did.
There is no way to quickly summarize this article and do it justice. Yong goes through EVERYTHING. You will read the history of this virus and our response, the dismantling of our health system over many years by things like just in time delivery and not having ready excess capacity to meet emergencies like our current pandemic. He thoroughly explores the racism deliberately built into our health care system while reminding us that we spend twice as much per capita as any other advanced nation with health outcomes that overall are far worse, with incredible inequities by wealth, class, and race.
This article should be required reading for everyone in any kind of related policy position, but too many want simplistic answers to complex problems, lack the patience to read something of this length and detail. and — quite frankly for far too many — lack the intelligence to comprehend all of what Yong presents.
I can only urge that everyone who reads these words read the entire article, then pass the link on to everyone you know that you think will at your urging read it.
I am only going to quote one more paragraph from this very long and very thorough piece, in part because it is an absolutely devastating put-down of the person most responsible for all of the crises facing this nation, but especially the multiple disasters associated with Covid-19. It comes immediately after the paragraph I have already quoted. Read this:
No one should be shocked that a liar who has made almost 20,000 false or misleading claims during his presidency would lie about whether the U.S. had the pandemic under control; that a racist who gave birth to birtherism would do little to stop a virus that was disproportionately killing Black people; that a xenophobe who presided over the creation of new immigrant-detention centers would order meatpacking plants with a substantial immigrant workforce to remain open; that a cruel man devoid of empathy would fail to calm fearful citizens; that a narcissist who cannot stand to be upstaged would refuse to tap the deep well of experts at his disposal; that a scion of nepotism would hand control of a shadow coronavirus task force to his unqualified son-in-law; that an armchair polymath would claim to have a “natural ability” at medicine and display it by wondering out loud about the curative potential of injecting disinfectant; that an egotist incapable of admitting failure would try to distract from his greatest one by blaming China, defunding the WHO, and promoting miracle drugs; or that a president who has been shielded by his party from any shred of accountability would say, when asked about the lack of testing, “I don’t take any responsibility at all.”
Now, go read the entire piece, then pass it on.
For all our sakes.