Trump and the Pandemic

A friend writes:

I want to stress the relative success that we have had compared to other first world countries. Here are the stats from John’s (sic) Hopkins updated today.

The first chart shows deaths per 100,000 in population by country ranking. The second shows the mortality rate per number of cases ranked by number of cases, but if you look at the ration (sic) of cases to deaths, we rank 49th on the list, ranked from worst to best…we have performed better than the UK, France, Italy, Belgium, Sweden, Australia, etc. Are those of you who claim that our leadership’s actions were negligent or almost criminal, willing to call the leaders of those countries with worse track records than ours the same terrible names that you use for President Trump? All lives matter, and I would say that we have done a pretty good job of protecting our citizens, wouldn’t you after reviewing these statistics which, I think are accurately reported at least by the countries I mentioned above.

What it actually shows is that the U.S. ranks 9th from the worst in terms of COVID deaths per capita, meaning that yes, there are countries in the developed world that are doing roughly as bad as we are.  I think what people are angry about is the way Trump has handled this per the following:

• Dismantling the pandemic response team

• Lying about the severity of the disease

• Delaying testing

• Calling for various states to be “liberated”

• Making ridiculous claims about the end of the pandemic (“Like a miracle, it will all be gone.”)

• Making even more ridiculous assertions about the ingestion of disinfectants, the use of light in the patient’s lungs, etc.

• Blaming the pandemic on a variety of others, and his “I take no responsibility” statements

• Holding superspreader rallies with no masks and social distancing

• Challenging Dr. Fauchi on the facts of epidemiology, and subsequent name-calling

• Supporting the governor of Florida in his opening up the state in the midst of spiking COVID cases

• Leading a “lock her up” chant against the governor of Michigan

This is why Trump could face criminal charges for his actions/inactions here, not that other countries don’t have worse statistics.