America has passed the grim milestone of twenty thousand five hundred deaths to overtake Italy as the world’s worst hip nation. Many blamed the president for the scale of the crisis. These are the lonely times for a president. All the decisions come to you and he’s made just about all of them wrong. But the causes of America’s failings in dealing with the virus run far deeper. Independent of Donald Trump America is a country that always would have found fighting a pandemic to be difficult regardless of who the president was. When the novel coronavirus hit America, President Donald Trump’s administration was slow to act. Early on the president was you know reassuring Americans that things will not get so bad. We have it very much under control. You seem to be worried about the stock market and it’s fluctuations, and I think that there was a series of critical weeks in which the threat was underplayed. The administration’s initial complacency was set to store up problems for the weeks ahead. There was a sense that we didn’t need to develop the amount of ventilators, that we had the number of personal protective equipment, that could go out to doctors and what we find now is, that we’re in the midst of a national shortage of those things. On March 9th the Trump administration promised millions of test kits crucial to monitor the spread of the virus.
Yet by the end of the month only around 200,000 tests have been completed. This is a serious thing and right now the federal government is failing. But this failure wasn’t entirely down to president Trump’s inaction. Thousands of Americans may have been exposed to the corona virus but have not been tested. The first tests created by the Centers for Disease Control, a federal agency, didn’t work. Private and academic labs around the country tried to develop their own tests but were initially hampered by strict regulations and a laborious approval process. That’s a technical failing and a bureaucratic failing that perhaps could be laid on the president. But one of the things about America is that the Public Health Authority is incredibly devolved to states and cities, in terms of how they respond so that the federal government actually can’t order these things. America’s federal system grants states the authority to decide when and how to respond in a public health crisis like this pandemic. And every state has responded differently. The state’s 19 million residents are being told to stay at home as much as possible. Faced with an escalating crisis the governor of New York announced a statewide lockdown on March 20th. We’re going to put out an executive order.
Today New York State on pause we need everyone to be safe otherwise no one can be safe. On the same day in Florida Spring Breakers were revealing on beaches. Here there would be no lockdown for almost another two weeks, during which time the virus continued to spread across the country. Some states called for non-essential businesses to be closed and for people to stay at home much earlier than others. The fact that borders remain open between the states complicates efforts at containment while some states might have kind of shut down at this time you know California Washington Oregon for residents from there goes Florida that comes back to you. Can see how it could exponentiate from there. That’s the weakness of a system that relies on decision makers in 50 states and numerous jurisdictions. A virus doesn’t respect state lines. In efforts to hope the spread of the virus have been impeded by another aspect of America’s political system. Democrats want to use a deadly virus as a political weapon against the president. Partisan politics are crippling America’s response to the coronavirus pandemic .Politics has infected America’s handling of the outbreak. Republican and right leading politicians have been slower to impose restrictions, than Democrats.Part of the reason that is that it starts in the city, so it’s taken off in places like New York and Seattle and California. And these are places that tend to have Democratic mayors and have Democratic governors. When political scientists kind of try to account for the rate of infection how rural your state is and all the rest they still see that Republican governors are slower to implement social distancing measures. There’s even evidence that Americans’ adherence to the rules crucial to halting the spread of the virus is also being influenced by party loyalty. You see at least from what we can measure from cell phone data Republicans seeming to take social distancing less seriously than Democrats. This blanket spread of shutting down businesses that’s an disaster for Michigan and people are sick and tired of it. GPS data show that Democratic voters in the 2016 presidential election have cut traveled more than Republican voters. In Hawaii where the majority voted Democrat in 2016 people more than half their travel in March. In Wyoming where the majority voted Republican travel actually increased slightly. Is supremely unhelpful for response to a virus to be politically polarized because the virus obviously infects whomever can.
On April 11th America overtook Italy to become the worst hit country in the world. The damage the virus is causing in America is compounded by the nature of its health care system. American hospitals are a business much more, so than that in other parts of the world. There’s no financial incentive for hospitals to have extra beds in the ICU, or extra ventilators, or extra pulmonologist Tucson specialize in intubation. Only 305 of America’s 6,000 or so hospitals offer the most intensive treatment available. That’s if patients even make it to hospital. Roughly 12% of Americans don’t have health insurance. Around 23 percent of those who do have insurance are underinsured which means they could be hit with high charges. More than half of working-age people have health insurance through their employers. But now with over 20 million Americans claiming unemployment, many may lose that access. If you’re more people afraid of getting treatment, then you know the mortality rate might be higher than it ought to be. All of those things mean that a pandemic would have strained the American healthcare system quite a lot, no matter who was president.The Trump administration has promised some help to those who don’t have access to health care. Yet there are still a lot of unanswered questions about exactly what and who is covered by the federal fund. For much of America the peak of the coronavirus pandemic is not yet in sight. On April 16th president Trump presented a set of guidelines on how and when social distancing measures could be lifted. He made it clear that the next move is up to each individual state. Yet the president immediately undermined his own guidelines by showing support for a growing protest movement demanding an end to lock downs. Donald Trump has presided over and done much to encourage America’s disjointed response to the pandemic. The combination of an erratic president federalized government and a complex and fragmented healthcare system. Means America’s already high death toll will continue to mount.