A Different Way

UPDATED: American COVID-19 Truth

American COVID-19 truth, as deaths soar past 115,000 at a 1,000 per day clip, is plain and simple. Our leaders failed us, and it’s worse than anyone imagined.

By David Stone

American COVID-19 Truth

To understand how completely and disastrously our leaders failed us requires no more than a look at the facts. They’re monstrous… and were always avoidable.

Putting it in perspective, American deaths from COVID-19 are equal to about three major airline crashes, every day, with everyone lost. And have been for weeks.

Why isn’t that front page news?

But even so, the coronavirus crisis worsened in recent weeks as Washington, specifically the Trump administration, ducked for cover. Leadership didn’t just fail; it ran away.

And as much as it obsesses about it, mainstream media beats around the bush of of American COVID-19 truth as if it’s on fire.

As Americans, now that the facts are in front of us, what can we do to get better?

American COVID-19 truth is at a minimum as leaders use tactics to hide the facts.
The American COVID-19 leadership failure made worse by the absence of simple truths. Getting better requires admitting we’re sick.

Easy to understand facts as of this May 26th, 2020…

  • The United States has 4% of the world’s population, but we account for 30% of coronavirus cases, although we’re undercounting.
  • And we have 28% of the deaths, even with undercounting.
  • In North America, the comparison is worse. There are 39 countries, large and small, but we have over 89% of the cases. And over 86% of the deaths.
  • Mexico, the second largest country in North America, by population, about 35% our size, has less than 4% of the cases we have. Compared to us, this “Third World Country” has a favorable ratio of 1:5 among COVID-19 deaths.

Data Source: Worldmeters

These are sobering facts.

In America, long considered the world leader in science and medicine, the clearest COVID-19 truth is this: We’ve sunk so far so fast, we’d be an international laughingstock, were it not for the intense pain.

How and Why American COVID-19 Leadership Failed

From the Lincoln Project

Plenty of time will be left to sort out the damages, but failures of this magnitude must go all across the board. Complain about the World Health Organization, argue over who failed first, but the big American COVID-19 truth is that other countries faced the same obstacles.

And almost all of them did better.

A lot better.

What we also lead in, this time around, is blame and finger-pointing, but this won’t help us.

Lack of character and integrity at the top of the pile is central. Yet, until failure was so massive, so catastrophic, deaths piling up nobody sounded alarms.

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Even so, many states did better after the feds fled in the face of skyrocketing death tolls, dragging a paltry dearth of plans with them in flight.

A possible reason…

Have we let our leaders get away with so much because the infected and dying are not our friends?

They’re the old and the poor, hidden in nursing homes and isolated in densely packed neighborhoods with cheap housing… all traditional victims of American bigotry, inheritors of slavery’s legacy and, more recently, consumer culture.

An American COVID-19 truth: The victims are, as Paul Krugman might say, “those people.”

The raw divisions among Americans stripped naked.

Here in New York, many with resources fled to second homes in Connecticut and far out on Long Island… while infection and death scarred low income neighborhoods in Queens, The Bronx and Brooklyn.

And even as New York City reopens, poor neighborhoods continue to sicken with infection rates near 50%.

Out of sight, out of mind.

The absence of learning from mistakes extends disaster.

An honest look at a map of infections and death shows COVID-19 leaking out of its East Coast epicenter, spilling like liquid poison into the Midwest, tickling the Rockies.

Counts are down, although still painfully high, but that’s because the coronavirus’s vein of death runs now through less dense populations.

Conclusion: American Covid-19 Truth

Shocking at first, the catastrophe sweeping the U.S. since January is not all so odd. Rates of infection and death echo the inequality we see normally but are exaggerated in the pandemic.

The poor and the elderly always pay the biggest price.

“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

H. L. Mencken, American Journalist

Enough said.

We elected a man unqualified for the biggest job in the world.

But don’t blame him. Blame us.


David Stone is a New York City based writer, founding publisher of The Roosevelt Island Daily and News; author of a dozen novels, poetry and nonfiction articles and books.

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