As this article is being written, the death – toll, from this horrific pandemic, in the United States, will surpass an official count of 100,000, although, many believe, it actually, considerably higher. The people, believing, the numbers are under- stated, base their belief, on the difference, between the total number of deaths, during this specific period, and, comparing it, to the totals, during the same period, in previous years. Using this technique, these totals, may be under – stated, by 30%, or more! With over 1.3 million, infected, in this country, and over 4 million, worldwide, this crisis, has had an horrific toll, on human life, and health. Other than, hopefully, learning important lessons, to avoid future crises, of this magnitude, and devastation, dwelling on the past, should alert, and concern, American citizens, because of the apparent lack of preparation and planning, dangerous rhetoric, partisan politics, delaying/ procrastinating (when proceeding, sooner, might have saved many), and demanding opening (for apparent, political/ personal agenda, and self – interest) too soon, has undesirable ramifications. With that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, 5 events/ behaviors, which may, have made, this, even worse.
1. Ignoring early warnings: Despite his denials, there are numerous documents, emails, etc, which indicate, President Trump, clearly, knew about international events, at least, as early as January 2020, and, either, ignored or didn’t pay sufficient attention, to what was presented. No one knows, for – sure, but, since Trump, often, states, he knows more than the experts, it seems, he didn’t begin his response, soon enough!
2. Calling it a hoax or political plot: How often, did we witness, the present occupant of the White House, proclaim, it was a hoax, perpetrated by his political enemies? Despite his future attempts, at revisionist history, this, probably, delayed our response!
3. Withholding/ distorting/ misstating information: When the organizing committee, in New Orleans, and Louisiana, asked the White House, if it was safe, to hold Mardi Gras, they were reportedly, assured, it was! The huge crowds, and normal behavior, during this event, created significant health risk, and, the immediate results, indicated, that, to be the case! We have also been informed, several states, either, under – reported, or don’t fully report, their data, which makes any smart approach, extremely challenging!
4. Early response (or lack of): Researchers at Columbia University state, approximately 50, 000 lives, nationally, might have been saved, if the Closings, began, just, two weeks earlier! Other studies state, even if only, done, a week sooner, there would have been, probably, more than 30, 000 fewer deaths. In addition, what might that mean, in terms of the number, infected, unnecessarily?
5. Demanding reopening immediately: Quality public health policy states, science matters, and data counts! We have seen, perhaps, the two most effective preventive measures, are Social Distancing, and wearing a mask, both of which, this President, often, seemed to minimize, in his statements, and actions (to this date, what example does it set, by his refusal to wear a mask?). How many new cases, will we see, as a ramification, of certain, weak Governors, bending – to Trump’s wishes, rather than standing – up, and placing public health and safety, before politics?
A health crisis, such as we are witnessing, is unlike, any, we’ve seen, for over a century. Perhaps, if we learned from the past, this one, might have had less victims! Wake up, America, and demand, public leaders, who, lead – by – example, put people before politics, and prioritize health and safety. We’ve seen what happens, when we are less prepared, and a President’s policies, minimize certain expenditures! Always, beware of ramifications, and be prepared!