On January 30 — what seems like a lifetime ago — the World Health Organization declared that COVID-19 was a world-wide pandemic. On that same fateful date, the United States’ Centers for Disease Control issued a press release that stated as follows: “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today confirmed that the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has spread between two people in the United States, representing the first instance of person-to-person spread with this new virus here.”
One month later, on February 29, after the first confirmed coronavirus death in this country, President Donald J. Trump said as follows:
“We’ve taken the most aggressive actions to confront the coronavirus. They are the most aggressive taken by any country and we’re the number one travel destination anywhere in the world, yet we have far fewer cases of the disease than even countries with much less travel or a much smaller population.”
Given Trump’s reassuring statement, who among us could have imagined that five months later, the United States would rank as the nation that has been the most-ravaged by the virus? With more than 160,000 of our fellow Americans victims of the virus — and increasing by 1000 per day — we have recorded 25 percent of the world’s deaths, though we have just four percent of the world’s population. And our five million confirmed cases — an increase of one million in the past 17 days alone — account for almost one-quarter of cases world-wide.
The daily life of every American has been affected by the virus, with no end in sight. Not only has the fabric of our society been shredded, but the very foundation of our democracy — the ability to hold fair and free elections — is in serious jeopardy.
The virus has reduced us to the status of a banana republic in every respect — and we’re continuing to spiral ever downward, day-by-day.