As our incompetent president flounders in the face of crises — main the worst coronavirus response in the industrialized world, and searching for to crush nationwide protests for black lives — the onerous fact about this nation comes into focus: America is not exceptional, however it is the exception.
No different industrialized nation was as woefully unprepared for the pandemic as was the United States.With 4.25% of the world inhabitants, America has the tragic distinction of accounting for about 30% of pandemic deaths to this point.
Why are we so completely different from different nations dealing with the identical coronavirus risk? Why has all the pieces gone so tragically wrong in America?
Part of it is Donald Trump.
He and his corrupt administration repeatedly ignored warnings from public well being specialists and nationwide safety officers all through January and February, solely performing on March 16th after the inventory market tanked. Researchers estimate that just about 36,000 deaths may have been prevented if the United States had applied social distancing insurance policies only one week earlier.
No different industrialized nation has so drastically skirted duty by leaving it to subordinate models of presidency — states and cities — to purchase ventilators and private protecting gear.
In no different industrialized nation have specialists in public well being and emergency preparedness been muzzled and changed by political cronies like Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who in flip has been suggested by marketing campaign donors and Fox News.
In no different industrialized nation has Covid-19 so swiftly eviscerated the incomes of the working class.Around the world, governments are offering beneficiant earnings help to maintain their unemployment charges low. Not in the U.S. Nearly 40 million Americans have misplaced their jobs to this point, and greater than 30% of American adults have been compelled to chop again on shopping for meals and danger going hungry.
At greatest, Americans have obtained one-time checks for $1,200, a few week’s value of hire, groceries and utilities. After an enormous backlog, individuals lastly began accumulating their expanded unemployment advantages — simply in time for the enlargement to run out with little to no probability of being renewed.
In no different nation is there such chaos about reopening. While Europe is opening slowly and thoroughly, the U.S. is opening chaotically, every state by itself. Some are lifting restrictions in a single day.
And not even a world pandemic can overshadow the racism embedded in this nation’s DNA. Even as black Americans are disproportionately dying from coronavirus, they’ve nonetheless been compelled into the streets in an outpouring of grief and anger over many years of harsh policing and unjust killings.
As protests erupted throughout the nation in response to extra police killings of unarmed black Americans, the protesters have been met with much more police violence. Firing tear fuel into crowds of predominantly black protesters, in the center of a pandemic brought on by a respiratory virus that is already disproportionately hurting black communities, is unconscionably merciless.
Indeed, a number of the duty rests with Trump and his hapless and corrupt assortment of grifters, buffoons, sycophants, lobbyists and family members.
But the issues at the core of our damaged system, laid naked by this pandemic, have been plaguing this nation lengthy earlier than Trump got here alongside.
America is the solely industrialized nation with out assured, common healthcare.
No different industrialized nation insists on tying well being care to employment, ensuing in tens of hundreds of thousands of U.S. residents dropping their medical insurance at the very second they want it most.
We’re the just one out of 22 superior nations that does not give all staff some type of paid sick depart.
Average wage progress in the United States has lengthy lagged behind common wage progress in most different industrialized international locations,
And America additionally has the largest CEO-to-worker pay hole on the planet. In 1965, American CEOs have been paid 20 instances the typical employee. Today, American CEOs are paid 278 instances the typical employee.
Not surprisingly, American staff are far much less unionized than staff in different industrialized economies. Only 10.2 p.c of all staff in America belong to a union, in contrast with greater than 26% in Canada, 65% in Sweden, and 23% in Britain. With much less unionization, American staff are simply overpowered by firms, and might’t cut price for increased wages or higher advantages.
So who and what’s responsible for the largest preventable lack of life in American historical past?
It’s not simply Trump’s malicious incompetence.
It’s many years of America’s failure to offer its individuals the fundamental help they want, many years of placing firms’ backside strains forward of staff’ paychecks, many years of letting the wealthy and highly effective pull the strings as the remainder of us barely get by.
This pandemic has uncovered what has lengthy been true: On the world stage, America is the exception, however not in the approach we wish to consider.