Opinion: The Catastrophic US COVID-19 Response Why Should We Expect Anything More?

By Ian Conte, Copy Editor

The failed US Government response to the Novel Coronavirus pandemic has led to the most positive cases and deaths out of every other country in the world. In just three months since the country’s first case, COVID-19 killed more US citizens than those who died fighting in World War One, according to the CDC.

The United States of America is a capitalistic dystopian nightmare. The country’s catastrophic response to the pandemic has fully exposed its ineffective central government, cruel for-profit medical system, and deep-rooted divisions in class and race.

The coronavirus pandemic has led to one of the worst economic downturns in US history. According to the Pew Research Center, the number of unemployed US workers rose by 14 million from February to May 2020. This is nearly twice the rise caused by two years of the Great Recession. Trading Economics reports that the number of unemployed US workers fell by 1.4 million in July, as businesses struggle to continue reopening.

However, this new recession will only get worse as the pandemic continues. The COVID-19 Eviction Defense Project reports that 19 to 23 million families may lose their homes by the end of September. In the latest analysis of US Census data, the Low-Income Housing Coalition states that the number of families facing eviction will rise 40 million by the end of 2020.

Rather than combatting the recession and upcoming housing crisis with increasing unemployment benefits and a coordinated national response, US President Donald Trump is taking a “hands-off” approach.  He is encouraging people to go back to work with a hyper-early reopening of the economy and throwing the bulk of pandemic response to the states.

This reopening has come without any federal regulations on the distribution of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), COVID-19 test kits, and other medical equipment to the hardest hit states. The Trump administration and Senate Republicans have left the supply of these essential items to the free market. Because of this, US states are engaged in a massive bidding war – whoever has the most money, and not the most need, will get their equipment first.

But the short supply wouldn’t be as bad if it weren’t added to by the widespread lack of affordable health care in the United States. The US Census reports that 27.5 million US Citizens were uninsured in 2018. On top of this, around 100 million US citizens have insurance with huge deductibles and large copays, according to economist Richard Wolff.

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