“We present the narrative of this report and the recommendations that flow from it to the President of the United States, the United States Congress, and the American people for their consideration. Ten Commissioners—five Republicans and five Democrats chosen by elected leaders from our nation’s capital at a time of great partisan division—have come together to present this report without dissent.We have come together with a unity of purpose because our nation demands it. [The US Pandemic of 2020], was a [time] of unprecedented shock and suffering in the history of the United States. The nation was unprepared. How did this happen, and how can we avoid such tragedy again?…Our aim has not been to assign individual blame. Our aim has been to provide the fullest possible account of the events surrounding [The US Pandemic of 2020] and to identify lessons learned. We have listened to scores of overwhelming personal tragedies and astounding acts of heroism and bravery. We have examined the staggering impact of the events of [The US Pandemic of 2020] on the American people and their amazing resilience and courage as they fought back“ 911 Commission Report
There will likely be a US Commission on the Pandemic of 2020, the verbiage of which will mirror the 911 Commission Report. Fault will be placed on a lack of federal, state and local coordination and sharing of medical intelligence among the three levels of American government. The US federal administration will be admonished with a few tough words and that, as they say, will be that.
In the meantime Wall Street, big corporations and banks will have fattened themselves at the $7 trillion trough provided by the Federal Reserve and the US Congress. Such an opportunistic robbery in the midst of a national tragedy could not have been planned any better. The 5 percent seized the day, for sure. Now they have 30 plus million unemployed by the proverbial throat. Ignore those deaths down the hall, they say, work or die. Another victory for the creative destruction inherent in the world’s number one capitalist society.
At the time of this writing there are just over 68,000 American deaths, the result of COVID-19’s rampage through the United States exacerbated by the US federal government’s chaotic and disastrous leadership. The President of the United States and Commander in Chief Donald J. Trump certainly has blood on his hands, this time American blood right at home. Trump waffled, denied, self promoted, lied and, like a snake oil salesman of old, suggested lunatic remedies like anti-malaria drugs and, at one point, implying that the use of ingested bleach/disinfectant might offer a cure for COVID-19.
Such were the ravings of a batshit crazy and self promoting lunatic who happens to hold the highest office in the land while he also commands the toughest military force on the planet. And therein lies the rub: the ring kissers who surround and advise the president are just as culpable for the 70,000 deaths as Trump is, or should be. And what to say about those who put him in office in the first place or those who do his bidding hiding behind a “he’s the president” veil?
The saddest part of all this is that federal, state and local emergency plans were in place to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Deaths might have been reduced if the available planning guidance was consulted and put into place at first blush of the COVID-19’s presence in the United States.
Now, Trump is attempting to blame China for America’s woes. Russia will probably be next in line to take the fall for the staggering incompetence of the Trump Administration.
The United States has now been exposed—though many surmised prior to the US pandemic—that the country is on many levels, no better than Russia or China when it comes to medical care. The ruthless privatizing of the US healthcare system, ostensibly the best in the world for all Americans, was exposed as a poorly resourced and staffed system damaged by Trump and the privatization efforts of presidential administrations dating back to Ronald Reagan’s term in the 1980s.
So, the US has a bunch of nuclear weapons and hundreds of thousands of military personnel. Yeah, so what? Russia and China have the same type of forces. Their military personnel are not as competent, you might argue; but then again, what are we still doing in Afghanistan after all these years. What happened in Iraq, that broken country? Besides, nukes are the great leveler. So the US was supposed to have the best military in the world and yet we are still stuck fighting losing battles in foreign lands. And just as the US had the best military in the world the United States was supposed to have had the best medical care in the world. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry about it all.
I have always been for a strong, well-funded military. I enjoyed watching the US Air Force Thunderbirds and the Navy’s Blue Angel performing a flight over the DC Metropolitan area on 2 May 2020 in honor of health care workers who have put their lives on the line to treat COVID-19 patients. But as I watched the air show I thought the event made for a great propaganda move by the Pentagon, a reminder that the military has exclusive rights to the title “hero,” not some civilian nurse, doctor, emergency medical technician, firefighter or police officer. Besides, the Pentagon has a new budget to get through the US Congress and it can’t, so military officials say, afford any diminution of funding might go to improving the healthcare system, or even providing basic health insurance for all Americans.
When the arguments are trotted out by government officials saying they were not sure how to respond and that the pandemic was unprecedented in American history, send them to the reports analyzing Minneapolis and St. Paul’s response to the 1918–1919 influenza. The issues are nearly the same. According to a 2007 report at PubMed Central:
“As influenza was beginning to take hold in the civilian population, there was disagreement between the Minneapolis and St. Paul health commissioners, Dr. Guilford and Dr. Simon, respectively. Their approaches varied; Dr. Guilford tended to be broadly proactive to prevent cases, whereas Dr. Simon tended toward initiating activities in response to individual cases. Dr. Guilford believed that closing public places was the best course of action and that isolation of individual cases was useless. Dr. Simon asserted that isolation of influenza cases would be more effective in preventing the spread of disease.
The St. Paul Health Department and the Minnesota State Board of Health met Dr. Guilford's strong advocacy with opposition. Dr. Bracken, siding with St. Paul, questioned, “If you begin to close, where are you going to stop? When are you going to reopen, and what do you accomplish by opening?…Debate between the two cities on the merits of closing schools caused further strain…The measures used to contain influenza greatly affected the day-to-day lives of citizens. While some accepted the changes imposed on them, others protested regulations that they considered unfair. Some called for more stringent methods, while others blatantly broke the new rules that were intended to protect them…The use of gauze masks, more stringent sanitation laws, and vaccination campaigns were deployed in this effort…Clear authority and management by public health officials were generally lacking at the federal and state levels.”
Americans will never learn. We, I, are just too stupid and lazy to change the system. What can be done? The elite of the country, those 5 percenters who control the strings of we puppet citizens will become bolder by the day. “Don’t want to work? Fine, there are 29 million people in line waiting for a job. Go pound sand!
I suppose Zibignew Brezinski was right all along. We are stupid at home and stupid abroad.
“Persisting social crisis, the emergence of a charismatic personality, and the exploitation of mass media to obtain public confidence would be the stepping stones in the piecemeal transformation of the United States into a highly controlled society…I am very worried that most Americans are close to total ignorance about the world. They are ignorant. That is an unhealthy condition…We have a large public that is very ignorant about public affairs and very susceptible to simplistic slogans by candidates who appear out of nowhere, have no track record, but mouth appealing slogans.”
John Stanton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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