The United States has a little over four percent of the world’s population, but 25 percent of the world’s COVID-19 deaths. Failure. The United States is about to hit 3 million confirmed cases, also about a quarter of the world total. Failure. The U.S. still, after six months, does not have adequate testing in place, and it’s not just the test kits themselves. Even areas like New York, which has worked hard to ramp up testing, are hitting a roadblock in the form of limited lab capacity to actually process the tests. Failure. Healthcare workers in the world’s richest country are again at risk of running out of PPE. Failure. States like Florida and Texas and Arizona that watched as New York and New Jersey opened a portal to Hell in March—in part because of their Democratic leaders’ early mistakes—used their extra time to do…what, exactly? They’ve now opened portals of their own. Complete failure. And now many re-openings are stalled.
This is all the result of a systematic failure at the highest levels of the federal government to formulate a national strategy for an international crisis. James Fallows conducted a forensic investigation of the Executive Branch response in The Atlantic and found it failed in pretty much every conceivable way, even down to the travel ban on China that the president has so often touted as Decisive Early Action. 40,000 American citizens, to whom the ban did not apply, came over after it was instated, and were not screened when they arrived. It was similar with the European ban, which Trump telegraphed two days before it took effect, initiating a mad rush of people who again were not screened on arrival in any systematic way. Total incompetence.
One of the few people in the White House who raised any kind of early alarm was Peter Navarro, the trade adviser, who penned a memo to Trump in January about the potential threat. His interest may have been tied to his strident anti-China views, but the interest was there. However, everyone in this administration knows that they do not serve the public first—if at all. They serve one man, and perform for an audience of one. To be honest about the state of pandemic at this point would be to admit even the slightest wrongdoing on the president’s part, which is entirely unacceptable. And so this is what you get when Navarro goes on CNN, as he did Tuesday morning.