It is also directed by a man who suggests from his actions and attitudes that he does not care much for the unfolding tragedy.
“This is the first after Covid, after the start of the plague as I call it,” Trump told his visitor, who was happy to play along after receiving a big political gift from a visit a few days before a national election. and with approval. signaled “the end of the coronavirus”.
But the coronavirus pandemic in the United States is like watching a “slow-motion public health train crash,” Dr. David Blumenthal, president of The Commonwealth Fund, said in an Alliance for Health Policy webinar. and the Commonwealth Fund on Wednesday.
“It can be frustrating and bewildering,” he added. “But now is the time to stop thinking about the past and start looking ahead, and wondering how we can take advantage of the moment, learn from experience, and improve things.”
Instead, the President’s attitude seems to have crossed into a callous indifference.
His behavior has sparked the extraordinary spectacle of a president running for a second term ignoring a massive national crisis that has killed tens of thousands of Americans and has no end in sight.
Trump resorted to his family diversionary tactics on Wednesday, but accused Democrats of supporting unidentified protesters who he said want to tear down statues of Jesus Christ, while stepping up the war tactics he adopted during the national trial on race. .
At a press conference Wednesday, Trump largely ignored the huge and aggravating national crisis. But he made his latest prediction without evidence of impressive medical advances in vaccines and therapies that are not yet backed by any evidence.
“I think you are going to have a big surprise, a beautiful surprise, sooner than anyone would think.”
Vice President Mike Pence, the head of the White House coronavirus workforce who has not held a public meeting with senior health officials in weeks, apparently sought to change the situation when he traveled to Capitol Hill for lunch with Republican senators.
South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said Pence mentioned the low death rates from the virus and said the provision of emergency protective equipment in hospitals was in good shape.
Given the dire economic consequences of the blockades imposed to bend the infection curve several months ago, there would always be limited tolerance for long-term closures. But the White House has long since stopped offering advice to Americans on preparing to venture out into the world.
In fact, Trump gladly ignored his own government’s advice on when it was safe for states to reopen.
The facts of the pandemic now clearly show that the northeastern states that have imposed painful restrictions on their people for the longest time, such as New York and New Jersey, have been more successful in reducing infections. Those who enthusiastically accepted Trump’s instances of opening, such as Texas, Florida, and Arizona, are now running toward their own crisis points.
An exception is California, which despite months of draconian public health measures is still in the thick of its battle. Rising infections in opening states also add to the grim possibility that even those who have started to return to business in the Northeast and Midwest will soon see infections on the rise again.
On Wednesday, a new battery of infection figures and academic projections reflected how the United States is heading into an increasingly intense duel with the virus, even as its economic competitors like the European Union are now considering a ban on American visitors. and that it has a larger population than the United States – start looking at life after successfully suppressing the pandemic, at least for now.
There is no leadership direction.
There is little direction from political leaders, including those from the hardest hit states who hate closing the economies again and domestically inside and outside the White House. Still, if hospitalizations and death rates start to rise, as experts predict they will as the infected people get sicker in the coming weeks, there could be agonizing and politically risky decisions for state governors over the restoration of some type of restrictions to its citizens.
Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, a Trump ally who refuses to wear a mandatory mask across the state, said Tuesday: “Ultimately, we must trust people to make good decisions.”
His fellow Sunshine State Republicans in the Senate seem to have no better ideas.
“We are not where we need to be,” Senator Rick Scott said Wednesday, but while advocating wearing masks and social distancing, he added that Floridians were “tired of people telling them what to do.” Senator Marco Rubio, when asked about the situation, said: “Everyone should wear a damn mask.”
Health experts, whose predictions about the course of the virus and the consequences of reopening states have proven to be much more accurate than those of the White House, seem increasingly desperate for what is to unfold.
Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency doctor and visiting professor at George Washington University’s Milken School of Public Health, warned that the sacrifices made by millions of Americans who lost their jobs in confinements designed to flatten the infection curve and alleviate the pressure on hospitals were being wasted. .
“Unfortunately, we reopened too soon,” Wen told CNN’s Don Lemon on Tuesday night. “We also reopened, not in the safest way possible, and now we are seeing these waves across the country. Basically we are back to where New York was in March, except this time I don’t think there is political will and public support for have these closures to be able to control this virus really out of control. “