It’s a “public health train wreck in slow motion,” in the words of one health expert, and the best President Donald Trump cares to offer the thousands more Americans projected to shortly die of Covid-19 is the unsubstantiated prospect of a “beautiful surprise.”
The US just hit its third highest ever peak of new coronavirus cases, multiple states are registering their own daily records and three are now taking the extraordinary step of imposing quarantines for citizens from pandemic hotspots. The world’s most powerful nation lacks a coherent national strategy to meet another cresting viral crisis, the capacity or even the willingness to take steps that might stop it.
It is also led by a man who is suggesting by his actions and attitudes that he doesn’t care that much about the unfolding tragedy.
Trump, who has previously predicted a “miracle” would occur or the virus would just disappear in the warmer weather, again declared falsely Wednesday that the danger had passed — even with the nation racing towards another deadly summit of infection. In his latest misleading effort to create a picture of normality, Trump welcomed Polish President Andrzej Duda to the Oval Office.
But the coronavirus pandemic in the United States is like watching a “public health train wreck in slow motion,” said Dr. David Blumenthal, president of The Commonwealth Fund, in an Alliance for Health Policy and Commonwealth Fund webinar on Wednesday.
“It can be frustrating and perplexing,” he added. “But now is the time to stop dwelling on the past and to start looking forward, and to ask ourselves how we can seize the moment, learn from experience and make things better.”
Instead, the President’s attitude appears to have crossed into callous indifference.
Trump has long denied the worsening situation over his failed gamble of pushing for aggressive state openings to revive the economy on which his reelection hopes may depend. He has constantly flouted guidance on mask wearing and social distancing, insisted on being pretty much the only entity in the Western world holding indoor events that risk turning into deadly super-spreaders and has failed to hardly ever mention the victims of the pandemic.