Ideally, we would follow in the footsteps of other countries who've successfully contained the coronavirus by imposing strict lockdown measures, very slowly reopen, test virtually everyone, and promptly trace any new infections.
We haven't done that and now it's too late to do it even if we had the national leadership required to do so.
I'm not an infectious disease expert, but that's what actual experts are saying now. The Deputy Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said it's far too out of control to stop it now.
But her most ominous words came last.
The coronavirus is spreading too rapidly and too broadly for the U.S. to bring it under control, Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Monday.
“We’re not in the situation of New Zealand or Singapore or Korea where a new case is rapidly identified and all the contacts are traced and people are isolated who are sick and people who are exposed are quarantined and they can keep things under control,” she said in an interview with The Journal of the American Medical Association’s Dr. Howard Bauchner. “We have way too much virus across the country for that right now, so it’s very discouraging.” [...]
“This is really the beginning,” Schuchat said of the U.S.’s recent surge in new cases. “I think there was a lot of wishful thinking around the country that, hey it’s summer. Everything’s going to be fine. We’re over this and we are not even beginning to be over this. There are a lot of worrisome factors about the last week or so.”
The deputy direct of the CDC knows better than I do, of course, but even we can look at the fact that we've recorded about 40,000 new infections every day for the past week (around 250,000 total in the last week) and judge that we may be few weeks to a month away from peaking again. This is "the beginning" as she says.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci testified in front of the Senate Labor Committee just this morning where he said we could see 100,000 new cases per day soon.
"I can't make an accurate prediction, but it is going to be very disturbing, I will guarantee you that, because when you have an outbreak in one part of the country even though in other parts of the country they're doing well, they are vulnerable. I made that point very clearly last week at a press conference. We can't just focus on those areas that are having the surge. It puts the entire country at risk."
"We are now having 40,000+ new cases a day. I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 a day, if this does not turn around. And so I'm very concerned."
These are the very real consequences of electing Republicans who don't believe in science and who are more loyal to Trump, money, and power than they are concerned with the lives of their own voters.
There are times when this feels like some sort of American comeuppance; like the chickens finally came home to roost. Large numbers of Americans have chosen to both be idiots and elect idiots to represent them in equal measure. The disaster we've already seen and the one still coming are a result of deliberate choices. It's not an act of nature unless nature unleashed a virus just to prove how dumb we are.
The public has to learn to stop electing proud nincompoops and sycophants or all of this will happen again if we survive the next year.
I want to say Trump and the GOP will get wiped out in November and we'll finally turn a corner, but it feels like a trap to say that even if that's what the polls currently tell us is going to happen.