It's terrible when a disease claims tens of thousands of innocent lives. It's worse when a failure of leadership is responsible for most of those lost lives.
The study also concludes that relaxing social distancing and other precautions, as many states are now doing, will cause infections and deaths to spike by mid-June.
On May 20, Columbia University released a study “assessing the effects of early non-pharmaceutical interventions” on the COVID-19 pandemic. The study concludes that 55% of deaths as of May 3, when the death count in America topped 66,000, could have been avoided if the U.S. had imposed social distancing measures one week earlier. The study estimates that, had measures been put in place on March 8, America would have seen approximately 36,000 fewer deaths between March 15 and May 3. Had those measures been put in place on March 1, the study estimates that roughly 54,000 fewer people would have died.
[t]his decreasing trend, caused by the NPIs [non-pharmaceutical interventions] in place prior to May 4, 2020 coupled with the lag between infection acquisition and case confirmation, conveys a false signal that the pandemic is well under control. Unfortunately, due to high remaining population susceptibility, a large resurgence of both cases and deaths follows, peaking in early- and mid-June, despite the resumption of NPI measures 2 or 3 weeks following control relaxation. A one-week further delay to the resumption of control measures results in an average of 214,545 additional confirmed cases and 23,110 deaths nationally by July 1, 2020.For Trump, a very unwelcome verdict.
The study, which estimates the impact of social distancing measures if they had been put in place between March 1 and March 8, provides a convenient timeline against which to compare the actions of the Trump administration. On March 9, Trump compared the coronavirus to the flu, stating that although the flu kills 37,000 Americans a year, “[n]othing is shut down, life & the economy go on.” According to this study, if measures had been put in place the day before Trump wrote this tweet, the death toll on May 3 would have been roughly 30,000 and Trump’s comparison to the death toll of the flu might have been more applicable.Ever the coward, Trump is seeking to deflect the blame he so richly deserves by picking fights with the World Health Organization, the EU, China, the Democrats and just about everybody else he can imagine.