Coronavirus shows U.S. not so exceptional


Insanity is defined as “extreme foolishness and irrationality and it best describes the social/political/economic system that governs how we live in the U.S. Because the way this system has responded to the current COVID-19 pandemic can only be categorized as “extreme foolishness or irrationality,” starting with its crazed leader Donald Trump.

Of course, the people are not too far behind, especially those who buy the propaganda of the U.S. as untouchable and invincible. How else to explain the rush to hang out in bars all over one another after we have witnessed what has happened in China and Italy and most of the rest of Western Europe? The only logical explanation for the irresponsible behavior is it can’t happen to us here in the exceptional U.S.

The coronavirus pandemic has exposed the U.S. government and the weakness of its social/political/economic system unlike any other crisis of recent times. It also exposed the silliness of North Americans who truly believe that they are invincible.

Incredibly, the U.S. president’s initial response to the virus of our times was to downplay the danger. In February at a campaign rally, he said, “The Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus… This is their new hoax.’

He later assured the American public that it wasn’t that bad and then he said it would just go away. Of course, he was wrong, but his delays and incompetence have literally cost people their lives.

If it seems I am exaggerating, how else to explain a man visiting the center of the epidemic in Wuhan, China at the time catching a plane and walking back into the .US. on January 19, a full month and a half into an epidemic that was infecting and killing Chinese.

He disembarked from his flight and incredibly left the airport with no questions asked, no temporary quarantine, nothing. He promptly began infecting those around him who ended up visiting an elderly rest home and the virus kills a few of its residents.

The origin of the virus in the northeast U.S. came from someone who had recently visited Italy just as that country was experiencing the epidemic. Again, he was allowed to leave his flight walkthrough customs without any questions asked and no temporary quarantine.

The reason that this is absolutely flabbergasting is that, while the virus was raging in China, the U.S. sat on its hands and its only attempt to limit who was coming into the country was to issue yet another Muslim and this time an African ban. Ironically, Trump signed it on the day before the beginning of Black History Month.

So the U.S. was so preoccupied with maintaining racism and White supremacy that it ignored a real threat to its very existence the coronavirus.
In fact, the virus proves that this country almost never takes a break from racism. The president has on a few occasions called COVID-19 the coronavirus the “Chinese virus.” And some North Americans have followed suit avoiding Asians and Asian restaurants.

Its media also never passes up a chance to push propaganda as the NY Times wrote a few callous articles denigrating the Chinese system, while it was in the midst of the worst of COVID-19 outbreak. Ironically, while the U.S. press mocked China’s system, this nation’s system organized for profit and not people’s needs was totally unprepared to meet this crisis.

Those who voted for Donald Trump (if any are honest) because he was anti-Black, anti-Brown, anti-Muslim and basically anti everybody except White Christians, are now to borrow a phrase, dying and suffering from Whiteness.
He clearly did not have the characteristics of someone who could lead in a time of crisis, in fact, he possessed none of the characteristics of a decent leader. His crude behavior should have disqualified him. His constant reference to himself and the job he is doing is the behavior of a fifth-grader.

Not only was the U.S. unprepared to meet this crisis but Donald Trump had made it more difficult by dismantling the National Security Council Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense. The former director Beth Cameron wrote in a Washington Post editorial that the directorate was put in place to serve as a kind of “smoke alarm” to get ahead of emergencies and at the earliest sign of trouble bring the proper attention to a potential problem “with the goal of avoiding a six-alarm fire.”

No alarm was sounded.
And the U.S. was insanely unprepared. The country refused to adopt the World Health Organization’s test for COVID-19, wasting time developing its own. Few tests have been produced and as a result, no one really knows the extent of the virus’ spread because everyone suspected of having it cannot be tested

But what is even more amazing is that hospitals are reporting running out of basic surgical masks. Worse yet the respirators, ventilators and other equipment that would keep health providers safe are in extremely short supply, according to nurses all over the U.S. who have been sounding the alarm.

Congress is trying to play catch up but the lack of a real social safety net for workers, including sick time, universal, government-provided childcare and universal health care are all exposing this system for what it is: unorganized insanity designed only for the making of private property.

Justice, then peace.