Covid-19 deaths hit 100,000: a monstrous failure of the US system

By Li Hong Source:Global Times Published: 2020/5/28 13:53:40

A 17-meter billboard called the "Trump Death Clock" displays the number of deaths attributable to US President Donald Trump's "inaction" during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was created by filmmaker Eugene Jarecki. A street view of the billboard as seen in Times Square in New York City on Monday Photo: AFP


The grim COVID-19 death toll in the US has now hit 100,000, and fatalities are very likely to climb higher, reaching 150,000 or even a staggering 200,000, if the current US government continues to overlook American lives and avoid its responsibility.  

The world has seen enough lies, bragging, pseudo-science, partisan abhorrence and racist slurs from the Trump administration in its woeful response to the public health crisis, which have led to a monstrous human tragedy.

The past four months from late January to the end of May have been catastrophic for the US, the world's most powerful country. It was brought to its knees by the coronavirus outbreak. Its milestone of 100,000 deaths is a disgrace for the presiding administration. It should not be indifferent and apathetic toward lost American lives. 

As the US has now entered a raucous general election season, political maneuvering and partisan conflict will intensify, which will create cover for the virus to spread and seek more human hosts. To win reelection, the Trump administration is calling US factories and businesses to resume operations despite the fact that COVID-19 continues its rapid spread. 

More American lives are at risk. 

It's time for the US government to review its startling drawbacks and failures over past months and scramble to take effective measures to fix its response loopholes. 

Epidemiologists suggest the Trump administration, individual US states and populous communities "tread slowly and attentively" while pushing to ease social distancing rules and reopen their economies, simply because tens of thousands of American lives are at stake. 

If the US' premature reopening causes a second wave of viral infections, as feared by the World Health Organization and many US infectious disease specialists, the country's economy will almost certainly be pummeled for a second time, prolonging its current recession and possibly nearing an economic catastrophe like the Great Depression it suffered in the 1930s. 

Unlike China, which has brought COVID-19 under firm control thanks to its stringent lockdown and suspected case tracing measures, the US is far from halting its coronavirus spread. China's economic activity has recovered to pre-crisis levels. 

Chances that the US will see a "V" form recovery are very slim. Its most probable recovery will take a "U" form. 

Additionally, the confrontational trade and investment policies adopted by the Trump administration since late 2018, including the unprecedented tariff war and deepening technology conflict, will place a suffocating lid on US economic recovery. 

US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the US economy has been battered by COVID-19 "without modern precedent," estimating the unemployment rate will hover at more than 10 percent for most of 2020. And mainstream US media outlets strongly suggest the US should gear up measures to bring the virus under control before moving to reopen its economy. 

They are right. It's time for the Trump administration to act before it is too late. Otherwise, history will pin one word on this administration: incompetent. 

The author is an editor with the Global Times.


blog comments powered by Disqus