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Trump still claims we're doing better than South Korea – he's wrong

4 min read

Trump continues to push his disinformation, aside from not knowing how big Seoul is. 

And still there’s no national stay-at-home order

160,000+ US cases, 3,000+ deaths with aggregated testing claims versus tests per capita.  For several days Trump touted meaningless statistical blather saying “US testing was more in eight days than South Korea did in eight weeks”. WRONG.

The first US service member has died from COVID-19.

2. In @nytimes on the US surge…what is missed is all of February when there were a grand total of 352 US tests vs >75,000 in S KoreaMeanwhile people broadly getting infected in the US but no ability to diagnose (or even suspect) @LazaroGamio @adeelnyt 2/3

3. And this March graph which also gives the misimpression on the US surge, although not normalized  (R panel). The key omission is timeline from Jan 21, 1st patient. And it’s very likely there were people in the US infected in December, but missed before Seattle kicked in 3/3



Access to testing in the United States has emerged as an even more contentious issue that South Korea sidestepped through its ambitious and comprehensive rollout of COVID-19 testing. Widespread availability of COVID-19 testing in South Korea has worked in combination with social distancing measures to isolate community spread clusters and possibly shorten the duration of restrictions on economic activity. But limitations on test availability have hampered U.S. efforts to combat the disease and resulted in less targeted and increasingly draconian public appeals from state officials to restrict social movement. Trump also appears to have missed an opportunity to make a deal with President Moon to provide millions of COVID-19 test kits to the United States in exchange for dropping outrageous military burden-sharing demands in Special Measures Agreement (SMA) negotiations.

In response, Trump is casting the battle against an unseen enemy in wartime terms in his first major crisis as president. Trump has sought an unprecedentedly large financial stimulus for affected sectors and individuals and has called on the private sector to ramp up production of medical gear in response to the crisis. Despite these efforts, there is palpable anxiety that the system will be overwhelmed with sick people in need of critical equipment such as ventilators and protective gear, and there is frustration at the state level that competition among the states is driving up prices.

Politically, the COVID-19 crisis has unmasked failures of preparedness for a health crisis of potentially unprecedented magnitude that have suddenly become points of vulnerability in an election year. The political ground under U.S. President Donald J. Trump’s feet is rapidly shifting. The Trump administration’s removal of a Center for Disease Control representative in Beijing and disbanding of a National Security Council office in charge of global health and security and bio-defense have become political liabilities. The pandemic has erased economic gains experienced under the Trump administration that would normally have provided a political advantage to the incumbent. The U.S. unemployment rate could jump from 3% to 30% in the coming months.…

Trump disinforms us with claims that there’s blackmarketeering of medical equipment and supplies to distract us from the shortages. 

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