By Christopher Harper
After the media and the Democrats trashed the response of the Trump administration’s actions toward the pandemic, few analysts have circled back to assess the success of the federal government.
Overall, the administration did quite well in facing the most horrific disease outbreak in a century.
The only way to accurately assess the overall effectiveness is to compare apples to apples, or death rates to 100,000 people. To wit, the United States did better than Belgium, France, Great Britain, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and about the same as the Netherlands and Ireland. Germany and South Korea did better.
The cancellation of flights from China held down the infection rate; the cancellation of flights from Europe could have come earlier.
The patchwork of shutdowns and social distancing across almost every U.S. state has succeeded in stopping the exponential spread of the virus; the subsequent government subsidies have helped the economy.
Remember the ventilator shortage? It never materialized. Now the United States has a considerable surplus after mobilizing production by the likes of General Motors.
Remember the hospital bed shortage? On March 18, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a dire warning. Within 45 days, New York City would need 110,000 hospital beds to treat those suffering from Covid-19, and it only had 53,000 available. In the end, New York hit a peak for hospitalizations on April 12 at 18,825–well below the worst-case scenario.
Across the nation, the healthcare system became strained in some states, such as New Jersey, Maryland, and Massachusetts, but it held up to the increased demand.
The problem is New York and other states was the inadequate oversight of nursing homes and long-health facilities, where about 40 percent of the 120,000 victims died.
Although the federal government sets standards for these facilities that receive Medicare, state and local governments are responsible for overseeing the quality of care. New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and others failed miserably, while Florida and a few others did not.
Multiple vaccines for the coronavirus have begun clinical trials on humans. According to the World Health Organization, there are more than 100 possible vaccines in various stages of development around the world.
Earlier predictions argued it could be more than a year and a half before a vaccine was proven effective and ready to use. Now one is expected some time in the beginning of next year.
“From a vaccine development, we are doing incredibly well in that we’ve got a large number of entities trying to develop the vaccine,” says Gerard Anderson, a professor of health policy at Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health. Meanwhile, the antiviral drug Remdesivir has been found to shorten the average hospital stays of coronavirus patients.
Remember that study that argued hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug, was dangerous? It turns out the data were false, and the study was withdrawn from a prominent medical journal.
Some shortages of personal protective equipment, or PPEs, occurred during the initial outbreak. That shortage was caused, in part, by virus-related disruptions in the supply chain from manufacturers in China, Anderson says.
Again, the United States now has a vast surplus. As of June 12, the government and industry had delivered more than 140 million N95 masks, 600 million surgical and procedural masks, 20 million eye and face shields, 265 million gowns and coveralls, and 14 billion gloves.
The Centers for Disease Control bungled test kits after the initial outbreak—part of the reason why Trump bypassed the organization. Again, the country now has a vast stockpile of testing kits and is performing roughly 500,000 examinations a day, with more than 20 million done in total.
But the media and the Democrats have shifted away from the positive steps the Trump administration made during the pandemic to the issue of racism. It’s the whack-a-mole strategy they’ve played from Russiagate to Racegate.