COVID puts ‘America the exceptional’ to the test… and it’s failing miserably

The flag should never be displayed with union down, except as a signal of dire
distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property - US Flag Code Photo credit: Public Domain

“The flag should never be displayed with union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property” – US Flag Code Photo credit: Public Domain

Sean Davis and Rocio Valdez

Many Americans have been taught their whole lives that the United States is an exceptionally-good, powerful and capable country. The COVID-19 pandemic is yet another arrow that can pop that notion’s bubble.

The U.S. had time to prepare for this pandemic and failed to for reasons of greed, incompetence and anti-intellectualism.

On Dec. 21, 2019 the World Health Organization informed the world that a mysterious pneumonia was sickening people in Wuhan, China and on Jan. 21, the U.S. had its first confirmed case.

The response by the Trump administration was sluggish at best with Trump referring to the crisis as a hoax and conservative media playing into this narrative.

If the Trump administration had a competent pandemic response team in January, the response might have been earlier and saved lives.

Instead, Trump had fired the team in 2018 to “cut costs.”

Due to the lack of appropriate early preventive measures, the U.S. is now the country with the most confirmed coronavirus cases.

Now the ongoing response to the pandemic by the Trump allies and followers is to argue that opening the economy is a better choice than protecting people’s lives by giving people some money and expand healthcare.

The ultra-partisan nature of U.S. politics and the presence of a small thing known as the 2020 Presidential election makes the nationwide response uneven and saddled with acquiescence to Trump by Republican governors and tiptoeing by Democratic ones.

All states are vying to outbid each other for key medical supplies because the neoliberal political-corporate complex has a pathological need to squeeze profits wherever they might be found.

If America “the nation” was as dedicated, knowledgeable and steadfast as the “Patriots” would have us believe, why the scandalous response to a serious issue?

We are not scientists or doctors, so we cannot provide a hindsight 20/20 solution to a pandemic. That is why a rational response to a staggering crisis like a pandemic is to let the experts take the lead and direct as needed.

A fresh helping of humble pie is required.

A quick addition of “I’m not a doctor” right before the “but…” simply doesn’t cut it when Sean Hannity sputters out a plan for reopening baseball games during a pandemic.

But how do you expect people to act under the leadership of someone who says “it will go away,” “we have it under control,” and promising that things are going to go back to normal very soon?

Don’t listen to these fools! Listen to the people who took an oath to do no harm, not the ones who take no oaths seriously at all.

Some proposed solutions to the pandemic, like a monthly check and universal access to healthcare, make practical sense during a time when 47 million people may lose their jobs due to the virus.

The arguments to reopen the economy and call it a near miss is as insane and murderous as it sounds when coming from the mouths of billionaires and millionaires.

A solution must be found to the crisis other than endless social distancing but we cannot be guided by corporate profit-seeking.

We must listen to the science and let love for our fellow humans worldwide be the guiding principle for planning.

If the argument is that “America the Exceptional” can do anything with the vast intellect and might at its disposal, let’s put this to the test in the pursuit of a just and equitable protection of all life, not the stock market.