The best analogy explaining how the covid-19 pandemic was handled in the U.S. comes from a series of tweets by the author, Kurt Eichenwald. To paraphrase, two houses catch fire, one South Korean and the other American.
South Korea rushes manpower and equipment to the scene of the fire. The U.S. Fire Marshall in Chief, Donald J. Trump, says the fire will go out by itself and does nothing.
In a short while, South Korea’s fire is out. They send in experts and scientists to go through the rubble looking for smoldering embers. Meanwhile, a second house catches fire in the U.S. The Fire Marshall in Chief promises that there will be more water and hoses than any other country has ever seen.
In a little more time, the rest of the block goes up in flames but there isn’t enough water or equipment to fight the huge blaze. Trump blames Obama for not providing an adequate amount of equipment to the strategic stockpile. There is also a problem of the hoses being leaky, squandering the little water that is available. Trump accuses the firefighters of selling hoses and water from the back of the fire engines.
The entire Eastern seaboard is now aflame. The fire is a raging inferno. Deaths are now being counted in the tens of thousands. The fire can no longer be contained.
Meanwhile, South Korea assesses how and when to reopen for business.