COVID-19. We can’t get away from it. Information and updates are on every news outlet 24/7. It’s the topic of most conversations. It’s blown up social media. The world is in uncharted waters…at least for the generations on the earth right now. Our world has not seen this type of pandemic during our lifetime.
The 2009 H1N1 pandemic didn’t receive the media attention COVID-19 is getting. According to the CDC, over the course of a year, the 2009 strain of the H1N1 virus infected 60.8 million people, an average of 274,304 required hospitalizations with between 8,868-18,306 deaths in the United States alone. COVID-19 may surpass those numbers. Yet, I barely remember this pandemic event. There certainly was not this level of hysteria and panic. To date, in the United States there have been about 269,557 confirmed cases and 6,907 deaths. More than 12,000 people have recovered.
One thing I do believe is, in the middle of our super-charged political war over power, this pandemic has produced hundreds of armchair infectious disease experts and pandemic strategists all very vocal about what woulda, shoulda, coulda happened if things had been handled differently from the beginning.
The thing is, no one really knows what, if anything, might have happened differently. With the rabid contagiousness of this virus, I doubt if much of anything outside of worldwide martial law could have prevented it from spreading across the globe. What we do know is there’s a lot of accusations and blame being pointed at government actions/inaction. Should things have been handled differently from the beginning. Most definitely. Beginning with China. Hindsight is always 20/20.
There’s no limit to the media’s coverage of things our country’s administration didn’t do correctly. There’s very little on the things they did do and are doing correctly. Below are some fact check sites on some of the most common criticisms I’ve seen in mainstream media outlets that are perpetuated on social media. Are there elements of truth in these claims? Sometimes. What is sad is the way information is twisted to shore up a particular narrative.
The US refused WHO test kits
Joe Biden accused the Trump administration of refusing to get coronavirus testing kits from the World Health Organization. Two fact-checking sites say otherwise.
Trump cut funding to the CDC
News outlets and public figures claim the Trump administration cut funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s anti-pandemic work.
The White House Office for Global Pandemics was eliminated
“The Obama-Biden Administration set up the White House National Security Council Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense to prepare for future pandemics like covid-19. Donald Trump eliminated it — and now we’re paying the price.” ~Joe Biden tweet, March 19
Trump made no effort to get experts into China
This one might be my favorite. I doubt if most people would ever make fun of Ernest Hemingway, but take his remark and attribute it to someone else and game on.
Are there a plethora of fact check articles on Trump? Of course. But instead of focusing on the political, why not focus on playing the cards we’ve been dealt so we get through this and our country can get back to being stable and stronger for it? I don’t believe anyone knows with absolute certainty if events would have played out differently if the opposing political party had been at the helm.
Instead of pointing fingers and placing blame…and in some cases out and out lying about events…why not open those hands and work together to overcome this challenge? Instead of focusing efforts on bolstering a political position and agendas, why not offer constructive advice for no personal gain and acknowledge the positive things that have been and are being done now?
The only answer I have is we are so steeped in political division as a country right now, it’s almost impossible to come together and put aside partisan bickering.