The Trump administration’s management of the COVID-19 pandemic is clearly the worst by any country on the planet. Corporate media have blanketed us with daily coverage about each idiotic, corrupt and despotic decision that the White House has made along the way. If that’s all you were paying attention to, you might think that Trump was the sole author of a death rate many times higher than the rest of the world.
But there’s a bigger truth, one that the corporate media simply haven’t told us: a catastrophe may well have happened if there weren’t a Trump administration. Privatized health care, wealth inequality and systemic racism are the soil from which this pandemic has sprung, and the devastation we are seeing fits with a pattern of how the U.S. has failed at responding to three other major pandemic outbreaks since World War II, especially considering how much Americans pay for health care.
I have to admit I had thought it was mostly Trump’s fault until I worked with IMI contributor Marshall Auerback on his recent essay making this persuasive case for a wider perspective. The consequences are that change isn’t just a matter of pulling the lever for a president who will have a competent public health strategy—it’s about chiseling away and finding ways to resolve the big social challenges of our times.
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