Why America was uniquely unprepared to deal with Covid-19

Hence, a programme was put in place in case a pandemic were to hit the world

In January 2017, President Donald Trump took office and within the first few days he dismantled the entire programme and started disposing of with the scientific advisory council

  Trump vehemently followed the advice of one of his idols, Rush Limbaugh (a radio TV personality), who is one of the primary sources of information for many Republicans, along with Fox News

According to Limbaugh, there are four corners of deceit: academia, government, media, and science

  It seems that the incumbent government believes in the axiom that these areas are contemptible, and hence not worthy of attention

This appears to be a plausible explanation as to why the Trump administration got rid of most of the staff tasked with identifying global health problems in China, while repeatedly attempting to slash funding for the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

In 2017, the US intelligence’s warning of a potential pandemic was dismissed

  So, when the chickens finally came home to roost, the USA has been uniquely unprepared to deal with the Covid-19 crisis

If history is any indication, this is what happens when you throw science out the window and change policy with the sole aim of augmenting private power

At the peak of the Covid-19 crisis, the air is thick with calumny, and the mud already waist-high

But this cannot be blamed entirely on Trump

There are deeper problems at play in America

Many would argue that capitalism is the root of the disaster

In 2003, the scientists cautioned about the threat a pandemic could pose

But warning without action is ultimately meaningless

 The obvious candidates who could have paid heed to these early warning signs are the drug companies making huge profits, which enjoy enormous patent rights privileges under the terms of the World Trade Organisation (WTO)

But for these companies it is not profitable to prepare for a catastrophe that might come somewhere down the road

 On the other hand, the government has enormous resources at its disposal but often fails to put them to good use because of neoliberalism

When President Ronald Reagan came into office 40 years ago, his slogan was “The government is not the solution to our problem, the government is the problem

” This essentially meant that decisions had to be transferred from the government – which is accountable to the people – into the hands of private stakeholders, which are not accountable to the people

For this reason, there was no preparation on part of any of the governments subjected to the neoliberal plague; a plague which is very inimical to the masses and very propitious for the designers of the system

Wealth is concentrated to an extraordinary degree, in the hands of 0

1 % of the population, owning 20% of the wealth

Corporations are extraordinary powerful and financial institutions are mostly predatory (and have almost taken over the economy)

  It has been a general disaster, which has led to crisis after crisis

In 2008, the financial crisis led to institutions having to be bailed out

And it has happened once again, when the USA government produced an enormous stimulus package of $2 trillion, most of which was dished out to the banks

The Treasury poured huge amounts of money into buying stocks and bonds to keep the stock market afloat

That fit the bill of the rich investors and managers, but did very little for the economy

Money was not put into the pockets of the people, or invested in developing infrastructure, or improving education and health; the things that could have actually grown the economy

That is the difference

A neoliberal society is run for the benefit of private wealth and corporate power

Another pandemic will eventually come

The onus of responsibility is on the leaders and civil society to use the current pandemic as an opportunity to reform the country for a future crisis

Date:28-Jun-2020 Reference:View Original Link