In a worldwide crisis, people need to cooperate with authorities and work together to find the solutions necessary for the problem at hand.
However, progress is deterred when the leader of your country downplays the issue and proclaims the opposing political party is trying to use it against him.
That sounds like something that would happen in an authoritarian country, but it happened here in the United States.
On Jan. 22, President Trump, in an interview with CNBC, said that he was not worried about COVID-19, which would be declared a pandemic less than two months later.
As the virus spread and got closer to the United States, it seemed as though a panic ensued in the administration because our country wasn’t ready for COVID-19.
On March 9, Trump tweeted that the Democratic Party and the media were trying to inflame the issue, and the President said the virus was a low risk to the average American.
A week after the tweet, most of the world came to a screeching halt due to the virus.
In the United States, there are more than 4,200 cases of COVID-19 that have been reported and 75 deaths have been documented as of writing this article.
The actual number of cases is likely much higher, but one of the biggest problems the United States has faced is its lack of testing.
It has been two months since COVID-19 was first documented in the United States, and we still aren’t even close to being prepared to test everybody who may have the virus.
It seems as though the best way to get access to a COVID-19 test is to play for an NBA team, as many of the league’s teams received testing rather quickly despite the rest of America not having as much access.
According to data from the COVID Tracking Project, about 76,000 people in the United States have been tested for the virus as of Wednesday afternoon.
These numbers pale in comparison to countries, such as South Korea.
In the span of two months, South Korea tested more than 290,000 people and found 8,000 cases of COVID-19.
What has happened since the nation put a huge emphasis on testing? The number of cases has dropped significantly.
According to Reuters, the cases in South Korea peaked with 900 new cases a day, and now the nation sees about 90 new cases a day.
So, what’s happened here in the United States? Why can’t we be more like South Korea?
It takes a village to prepare for a pandemic like this, but it all starts at the top.
Our President has shown he only cares about two things. He cares about maintaining good numbers in the stock market and keeping the number of COVID-19 tests low.
A low number of people tested means a smaller number of cases, and that could help his image.
Trump is trying to minimize the threat because he has his eyes set on one thing: the election in November.
For the President and many other politicians, it’s all about looking good in the media and getting re-elected even though there are lives at stake.
We’re still very early in the COVID-19 pandemic, but Trump should tread carefully.
If he keeps trying to avoid responsibility in a crisis like this, historians will look at his response to COVID-19 similarly to the way some people view President George Bush’s response to Hurricane Katrina.
Hurricanes and viruses are apples and oranges, but the point remains that the President is a lightning rod. It doesn’t matter if federal, state or local officials mishandle a crisis because the President should get the blame.
And instead of saying “the buck stops here,” as President Harry Truman was known for, Trump has chosen to say, “I don’t take responsibility at all.”
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the Tropolitan or its staff members. Address responses and critiques to firstname.lastname@example.org