It sounds nothing but tragic, the way novel coronavirus found its new home in Europe and the United States. The USA stands at 1,431,720 cases, with almost 85,500 deaths. These are the numbers for the 14th of May 2020. One can only pray that they stay the same, for an increase in these horrific numbers will mean nothing but more tragedy. However, it is prudent to investigate matters. Coronavirus was always going to find a home in the USA, there is doubt about that. One wonders, however, how coronavirus in the USA infected more people than put together by half of the world. Why America became the most affected country in the world? In today’s discussion, we look at some of the factors that contributed to this tragic event.
Tracing and testing mismanagement
Well, as of now, America is reporting 15 percent of viral tests conducted positive. The number could have been a lot lesser, had it not been for the administrative negligence committed at the very beginning of the crisis. Tracing was abysmal at the start and we all know how important it is. Only by tracing and testing, it is possible to contain the spread of infection. However, incompetence did not stop there. The refusal to permit local test kits development meant that states were solely dependent on the testing capacity of CDC headquarters. Some of the kits CDS disseminated among the states were malfunctioning themselves. Overall, it was not a pretty picture.
Failure to maintain social distance
This is something for which, both the government and the masses deserve full credit. It sounds unbelievable, but people were partying on Florida beaches, even by the first week of April. Not all, but a considerable number of Americans simply called it a hoax. Of course, the government’s decisions did not help the situation. For example, decisions like sending students back to their homes meant more crowds than normal. Similarly, a late flight operations cancellation meant a surge in the number of infected individuals. The numbers were bound to increase, as they did, before our very own eyes!
The role of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in managing a viral outbreak of this magnitude was always going to be important. However, many renowned public health experts are at a loss to express the disappointment they have felt, after seeing CDC’s clumsy efforts. The agency was expected to play a more decisive role, almost that of a leader, during this crisis. Regrettably, its failure to do so has done nothing but result in more despair and deaths. A shortage of medical supplies has not done any good either, a point, which demands a separate discussion.
Lack of national coordination
Coronavirus in the USA could have been contained, had it not been for an almost embarrassing lack of coordination among the top leadership of the country. Federal versus the states could not have been better highlighted than it was in this pandemic. The state governors have developed policies and SOPs of their own. Some stern, some soft. However, some governors have displayed nothing but dismay at the lack of clear instructions from the White House. Of course, there are political costs of every such action, which is one of the major factors leading to a hesitant response against the pandemic.
Well, you have to give it to President Trump. Even during this crisis, he has found ways of keeping his international and national opponents on tenterhooks. From accusing China as the country responsible for all this mess to calling it a Chinese virus, to criticizing the state governors, President Trump has done nothing to lift the morale of an already demoralized nation. The wild predictions about pandemic’s future, from an early elimination to more than 100000 deaths, are yet another embarrassing feature of the president’s policy to tackle the pathogen. Oh, it has not stopped. The pressers from the White House are living proof of that!
A lack of PPE and ventilators were the points that should have been discussed as well in this discussion. However, seeing as the government is still making efforts on that front, we will reserve our judgment on that. Nevertheless, now, we all know, why coronavirus in the USA infected more people than any other country in the world, do not we?