Playing whack-a-mole with the coronavirus has been a losing plan

America is being treated as an international coronavirus pariah by much of the developed world. We can’t travel to Europe because of our raging Covid-19 infections. We are not allowed into Canada and many local governments in Mexico do not want U.S. visitors. Why is our country being treated like a leper colony?

For months, the U.S. has had the most reported coronavirus infections of any nation on Earth. No other country even comes close. On July 19, we reported 65,279 new Covid-19 cases among our 331 million people. That same day, 273 cases were reported in Germany, 218 in Italy, 726 in the UK, 339 across the border in Canada and 7,615 in Mexico. The European Union, with a population near 445 million, has been reporting around 6,000 cases per day for several weeks. All told, the U.S. had almost 30% of the reported world infections on July 19.

How could the U.S. be such a Covid basket case? As I pointed out in an April 24 column, Donald Trump’s plan for the coronavirus was to dump that job on the nation’s governors so that he could avoid any blame if things went badly. He refused to develop a coordinated strategy for handling this serious national threat, claiming it was the governors’ job to conduct the necessary testing, tracing, staffing, equipping and preventive measures to stop the virus.

When I wrote that column, infections were out of hand in northeastern states. However, infections were then low in many other states, including Texas, Florida, Arizona, California and South Carolina. Now, the virus has abated in New York but is ravaging southern and western states. On July 19, Florida, Texas and California reported a combined total of 29,203 cases, each state’s cases exceeding those of the entire European Union.

The problem is that the coronavirus does not recognize state boundary lines. Americans travel around the country, carrying the virus with them. The Trump plan of foisting his responsibility onto the states has resulted in a whack-a-mole game of individual governors struggling to control the virus in their state just as it pops up in another.

If Trump had taken the reins right at the start, implemented a nationwide strategy and followed the advice of the scientists, we could have brought the virus under control like the nations of the European Union. Trump’s Covid-19 response is the worst of any world leader. With Trump’s mole-whacking approach, we have about one-fourth of world deaths, a struggling economy that will take years to right itself, and damage to our national image that will haunt us long into the future. The U.S. is no longer admired as the can-do country.

It will not get any better during the remainder of Trump’s tenure. He has taken to undercutting Dr. Tony Fauci and the other epidemiologists, falsely claiming that the virus will magically disappear, forcing premature state openings, and dithering about the use of masks and other protective measures. Many more people will needlessly die, there will be turmoil about when and how to open schools, and the economy will suffer additional catastrophic damage. The American people have it in their hands to stop this losing mole-whacking approach in November. Enough is enough!

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8 thoughts on “Playing whack-a-mole with the coronavirus has been a losing plan”

  1. This is a result of zero leadership from the President and his cabinet. Actually, it’s worse than zero leadership as the Trump administration is using every trick in the books to trivialize the problem. When you couple all of that with Idaho’s lack of leadership and deference to the deniers and anti-maskers, is there any wonder why Idaho’s numbers are sky-high?

    1. Thanks, Kevin: It is pathetic that so many leaders will not lead. I’m thinking that we will solve the problem at the federal level in November. Unfortunately, much more damage will occur in the interim. Jim

  2. It’s pretty pathetic….he wouldn’t even invoke the defense act that could have provided PPE for health care providers and here we are again…..risk of a low supply of PPE.

    About 2 weeks ago, north Idaho had one case in the hospital. Then it went to five….then 8….then 11….over the weekend it went to 19. And of course, while more people here are wearing masks, we have our share of folks who think the whole ordeal is a hoax.

    Thanks for being a voice of reason….always.

    1. Thanks, Michelle. Our infection and death tallies would be significantly lower if people would merely mask up. Thanks for the Press article. I’m thinking about doing a column on it. There are so many crazy things to write about that it is hard to choose a topic. Jim

  3. Your opinions would be of significantly more interest, if written without so much personal bias. I can’t remember your last column in the POST Register when your opinion wasn’t tied into Trump Bashing or TDS. If you’re not a liberal, you’re doing a good job of fooling the vast majority of your readers, reducing your words to nothing more substantial than Trina Pettingills pathetic yet frequent submissions. I personally think you could find much better use of your soap box, not that many people read the newspapers anymore. If you’re a Liberal or a Socialist which one can assume you must be since you encourage your readers to fix the problem in November, why don’t you amaze us by extolling the virtues of your Party or Biden or Bernie?

    1. Steven: I grew up in a Republican Party that stood up for civil rights, government competence, public accountability and truthfulness. Trump embraces none of those old GOP traits. He is more interested in serving his own interests than those of the public. I am no longer a member of any party, but I believe a two-party system is important to our county’s long-term existence. I’m hoping the Republican Party can shake off Trump’s corrosive influence and remake itself in its former image after this next election. Incidentally, if you can find some factual error in any of my columns, it would be helpful if you would bring it to my attention.Thanks for taking the time to comment. Jim

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