|Known Covid Cases - 12 June, 2020|
John Hopkins Covid Tracker
The graphic indicates why we need to keep the Canada-US border closed for a good long while yet. Remember, this map was compiled more than a week ago and about half of the States have been witnessing one-day record infections since then.
Readers of this blog know I'm prone to harping about viral contagions and other challenges looming around the world in the context of resilience. How well can a nation or a society absorb these punches, how well can it recover? How well can it bounce back in time for whatever is coming next?
New York Times columnist, Michelle Goldberg, touches on resilience when she writes that "America is Too Broken to Fight the Coronavirus."
Italy’s coronavirus catastrophe once looked to Americans like a worst-case scenario. Today, it said, “America’s new per capita cases remain on par with Italy’s worst day — and show signs of rising further.”
This is what American exceptionalism looks like under Donald Trump. It’s not just that the United States has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths of any country in the world. Republican political dysfunction has made a coherent campaign to fight the pandemic impossible.
At the federal level as well as in many states, we’re seeing a combination of the blustering contempt for science that marks the conservative approach to climate change and the high tolerance for carnage that makes American gun culture unique.I was talking with an old Conservative buddy last night. He was a Stanfield PC but shifted to the right when Harper infected Canadian conservatism. He even got to the point where the thought that Trump wasn't all that bad.
The rot starts at the top. At the beginning of the crisis Trump acted as if he could wish the coronavirus away, and after an interval when he at least pretended to take it seriously, his administration has resumed a posture of blithe denial.
My friend, it seems, has had an epiphany. During our long chat he let slip that we're not getting much if anything done on the major problems of the day because our politics has become so mired in partisanship. Everything becomes a political issue even problems that are medical or scientific matters. We wrap them in politics and then use them as ammunition to fight this insane culture war. Politics renders existential problems insoluble. Politics has become a risk multiplier.
Paul Krugman touches on America's gaping wound in his column today:
...there’s a longstanding anti-science, anti-expertise streak in American culture — the same streak that makes us uniquely unwilling to accept the reality of evolution or acknowledge the threat of climate change.
We aren’t a nation of know-nothings; many, probably most Americans are willing to listen to experts and act responsibly. But there’s a belligerent faction within our society that refuses to acknowledge inconvenient or uncomfortable facts, preferring to believe that experts are somehow conspiring against them.
Trump hasn’t just failed to rise to the policy challenge posed by Covid-19. He has, with his words and actions — notably his refusal to wear a mask — encouraged and empowered America’s anti-rational streak.Conservative leaders are beginning to resemble Confederate generals the like of Nathan Bedford Forrest. They don't shrink from carnage nor take any responsibility for the mayhem they leave behind.
As Ms. Goldberg writes, they have left America "too broken" to meet the challenges of the day and those that will follow in short order.