Almost two months before the first death from Covid-19 in the world, the Global Health Security Index, a project of John Hopkins University and the Nuclear Threat Initiative, analyzed the readiness of 195 countries to face a hypothetical global viral epidemic. U.S appeared in the first place in the classification, As the best trained country to cope with the disease. But from theory to practice a world can mediate, as the American experience has shown. The first world power has just exceeded 200,000 deaths from Covid-19, one in five deaths from complications derived from the virus worldwide. “The American Failure & rdquor;, headlines ‘Time’ magazine on its cover this week, its first black cover since 9/11.
There are not many more words to describe the fiasco of political and health management of the pandemic in the US, a country that spends twice as much on healthcare as its OECD peers and is still unable to guarantee access to healthcare for all its citizens. The virus has laid bare the shame of its Byzantine system of private healthcare, but perhaps more important have been the permanent attempts to deny reality, mainly from the White House. From them derives the slowness to mobilize resources, the disdain for the recommendations of scientists or the rush to reopen the economy when very few states had broken the contagion curve, a decision that was left to the discretion of their governors. As a country, the US never did. Since the beginning of April it has rarely dropped below 20,000 new infections a day.
The press, the academy and the think tanks have not hidden the blow that the debacle represents for the prestige of the country. More Americans have died as victims of Covid-19 in the last eight months than in all conflicts fought outside their borders since the start of the Korean War in 1950. But from the White House there has never been the slightest gesture of contrition. Its president continues cElevating incompetence as a resounding triumph. “If we hadn’t done our job, three and a half, two and a half, maybe three million people would have died,” Donald Trump said Friday. “We have done a phenomenal job Regarding Covid-19 & rdquor ;. In total, 6.8 million Americans have contracted Covid-19 since the beginning of the year.
So many months of propaganda have not been enough to confuse Americans. Only the 39% approve of their management of the pandemicaccording to a recent survey by the Associated Press and the NORC Center. And the problem is that there is no sign that the epidemic is going to improve substantially. After the downward trajectory adopted by the curve for much of the summer, it picks up again. In more than half of the states are increasing daily infections. A total of 27 have positivity rates greater than 5%. The World Health Organization only recommends reopening the economy when less than 5% of PCRs performed test positive over a two-week period. In some like Iowa, Wisconsin, Idaho o Kansas the index is greater than 15%.
In the beginning, the pandemic took root mainly in the northwestern states like New York and New Jersey. From there it spread west (California, Arizona) and southern enclaves like Florida early summer and now it rages on the Great Plains and the south of the country. The Democratic states suffered the most at first, now it is mainly the republicans, where confinements and recommendations to the population were more lax.
The politicization of the pandemic has also left the main country’s health institutions. Particularly the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one of the most prestigious in the world. Political officials appointed by Trump, ordered their reports to be decaffeinated and withheld information from the states, according to the press.
And even today the CDC continues to lurch that arouse suspicion. After posting on Friday that the coronavirus transmitted primarily by air Through tiny aerosol-like particles that linger in the air for long periods and can travel beyond six feet (182 centimeters), the information disappeared Monday from the institute’s website. Its spokespersons claimed that the information was published “by mistake & rdquor; prematurely.