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Friday, September 18, 2020

Donald Trump and the virus-a short interim balance

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Three months ago, on the 21st of January 2020, a man from the state of Washington that had shortly before returned from Wuhan, the capital of the Chinese province of Hubei, became the first confirmed coronavirus case in the United States. On the 12th of April, the US already had the most deaths globally and today there are almost 800,000 virus patients. 43,500 Americans have died so far of the pandemic, and New York State is the worst-hit area, accounting for roughly one third of all fatalities.

For most progressives, the sole culprit of this immense tragedy is clearly President Donald Trump for not reacting fast enough and especially for being so changeable. Well, that has been one of his outstanding character traits and although I don’t agree at all with his partly dangerous foreign policy and his fickleness regarding China, Iran and Syria, I don’t think that his performance has been the worst of all. Living currently in Spain, I could tell you a thing or two about how NOT to handle a virus. Belgium, recently blatantly praised by a feminist in Forbes magazine for doing so well just because it has a female prime minister (since March), recently claimed the top spot on the highest per capita infection. There was no outcry, as to mention it probably would have been misogynistic anyway. However, there is no mercy for those notorious angry white males!

Speaking of the Devil, former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill once reportedly said that “I only believe in statistics that I have doctored myself”. Therefore, even nowadays there are no really reliable numbers anywhere in the world. Even so, my usual source www.worldometers.info reports that currently the US with its often reviled health system has a per capita infection rate that is much lower than France, the United Kingdom or the Netherlands, but also lower than Sweden, Switzerland and Ireland. Not to mention Belgium again, or Spain, Italy and tiny Andorra…

Luckily, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) scary prediction that by early April the country could face a shortage of up to 130,000 ventilators didn’t come true. Although it was the opposite of the normal FEMA operating procedure, the strategy of not sending various states what they requested on their say-so proved to be correct. It has made the Dynamic Ventilator Reserve possible, which nowadays allows hospitals with a safe margin of ventilators not in use to lend them to places that need them. Trump’s dealing with this pandemic has been erratic, but he could accidentally discover an antidote by himself and still be trashed by the usual suspects in the international media. He knows that!

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    • Well, the problem is that the other candidates are also quite old and almost senile. The US has turned into a gerontocracy!


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