As of Aug. 22, 5.8 million Americans have been infected with coronavirus and over 180,000 have died. What’s tragic is that we had ample warning about the pandemic and could have taken steps to contain it. Instead, the incompetence of the current administration has led to disaster.

COVID-19 first appeared in Wuhan, China mid-November. By early January, U.S. Intelligence Agencies began issuing warnings about the virus in the President’s Daily Brief.

Taiwan, just 81 miles from China, had far less warning than we did. But they acted sensibly, quarantining passengers from Wuhan, using government funds to increase mask production, and issuing daily press briefings to educate the public about coronavirus. So their outcomes were far better: of 23 million people they had only 487 cases, seven deaths. 

By contrast, Trump downplayed the danger, saying the virus would “just disappear.”. He failed to mobilize government resources to ramp up testing or to procure needed medical supplies. Trump divided the nation, turning the common-sense practice of wearing a mask into a political issue, and pushing to open the economy before it was safe.

The U.S. now leads the world in total coronavirus cases and deaths. Before the current administration, the U.S. would have been a leader in uniting the world in fighting the virus. It’s astonishing how far our global influence has shrunk in under four years. We need a leader who will take responsibility, tell the truth, and unite us in times of crisis. It’s time to vote Trump out.

Phillip Riffe

Hesperus, Colo

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