America is being treated as an international coronavirus pariah by much of the developed world. We can’t travel to Europe because of our raging Covid-19 infections. We are not allowed into Canada and many local governments in Mexico do not want U.S. visitors. Why is our country being treated like a leper colony?
For months, the U.S. has had the most reported coronavirus infections of any nation on Earth. No other country even comes close. On July 19, we reported 65,279 new Covid-19 cases among our 331 million people. That same day, 273 cases were reported in Germany, 218 in Italy, 726 in the UK, 339 across the border in Canada and 7,615 in Mexico. The European Union, with a population near 445 million, has been reporting around 6,000 cases per day for several weeks. All told, the U.S. had almost 30% of the reported world infections on July 19.
How could the U.S. be such a Covid basket case? As I pointed out in an April 24 column, Donald Trump’s plan for the coronavirus was to dump that job on the nation’s governors so that he could avoid any blame if things went badly. He refused to develop a coordinated strategy for handling this serious national threat, claiming it was the governors’ job to conduct the necessary testing, tracing, staffing, equipping and preventive measures to stop the virus.
When I wrote that column, infections were out of hand in northeastern states. However, infections were then low in many other states, including Texas, Florida, Arizona, California and South Carolina. Now, the virus has abated in New York but is ravaging southern and western states. On July 19, Florida, Texas and California reported a combined total of 29,203 cases, each state’s cases exceeding those of the entire European Union.
The problem is that the coronavirus does not recognize state boundary lines. Americans travel around the country, carrying the virus with them. The Trump plan of foisting his responsibility onto the states has resulted in a whack-a-mole game of individual governors struggling to control the virus in their state just as it pops up in another.
If Trump had taken the reins right at the start, implemented a nationwide strategy and followed the advice of the scientists, we could have brought the virus under control like the nations of the European Union. Trump’s Covid-19 response is the worst of any world leader. With Trump’s mole-whacking approach, we have about one-fourth of world deaths, a struggling economy that will take years to right itself, and damage to our national image that will haunt us long into the future. The U.S. is no longer admired as the can-do country.
It will not get any better during the remainder of Trump's tenure. He has taken to undercutting Dr. Tony Fauci and the other epidemiologists, falsely claiming that the virus will magically disappear, forcing premature state openings, and dithering about the use of masks and other protective measures. Many more people will needlessly die, there will be turmoil about when and how to open schools, and the economy will suffer additional catastrophic damage. The American people have it in their hands to stop this losing mole-whacking approach in November. Enough is enough!