Today, as the United States’ COVID-19 death toll surpasses 150,000 and the unemployment rate remains terrifyingly high, President Trump is publicly attacking his top health officials and promoting an unproven drug (yes, still). Elsewhere in the world, curves are flattening, spikes are being addressed, and humans are staring in horror at how utterly the U.S. has failed its citizens. If you need proof, the New York Times has shared a new video in which people from New Zealand, Germany, the United Kingdom, Jordan, and a host of other countries gasp in utter horror at the charts, facts, and videos that sum up the U.S. response.
As has been the case for most Americans, the audacity of Trump’s lies prompts a kind of shocked laughter that, at least for some of the people involved in the video, soon curdles into tears. Throughout, participants break down the ways in which their governments offered free testing, wage subsidies, and other forms of support during lockdowns, making Trump’s talk about the U.S. being the “world leader” in the pandemic response to be that much more absurd.
If you’re looking for even more evidence into just how badly the U.S. has botched this crisis, the Atlantic just published a deeply comprehensive new piece—featuring more than 100 interviews—that helps chronicle all the ways we fucked up. Per the piece, COVID-19 has “touched—and implicated—nearly every...facet of American society: its shortsighted leadership, its disregard for expertise, its racial inequities, its social-media culture, and its fealty to a dangerous strain of individualism.”
There is no returning to “normal,” it argues. “Normal was a world ever more prone to a pandemic but ever less ready for one. To avert another catastrophe, the U.S. needs to grapple with all the ways normal failed us.”
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