It has been more than two months since the first case of coronavirus was diagnosed in US since then, the outbreak has spread across the nation with more than 8 lakh cases and over 47,681 deaths. The US now has become the global epicentre of the pandemic, surpassing China where the virus has begun. Let’s have a look at some of the reasons why US failed in controlling this pandemic.
Medical supply shortages : There is a shortage in the supply of medical equipment like masks, gloves, gowns and ventilators not only across the country but also in the areas which had hardest hit by the pandemic. The lack of adequate supply has forced health workers to reuse the existing medical kits. Due to shortage of ventilators state officials on the advice of doctors are deciding who should get ventilator and who doesn’t. The states along with federal government were competing for equipment, which led to increase in the price of equipment. The US Government failed to maintain stockpile which was necessary to deal with pandemic. The US government moved too slowly when the nature of current crisis became apparent.
Testing Delays : Mass testing /rapid testing at an early stage is the key factor in controlling the pandemic like this. The inability of the US government to do so was the critical failure from which the complications have cascaded. Mass testing was not done at least for a month, leading to exponential raise in cases. And the testing kits made by Centre for Disease Control (CDC) were flawed and it took time to make it right. And testing permission is given only to handful US laboratories by the administration. By mid March the administration was promising at least 5 million tests, but by 30 March only a million tests have been conducted.
Political Turmoil / Political squabbles : Trump administration didn’t take the threat seriously. The government paid more attention towards banning flights rather than preparing for pandemic. Despite warnings trump was dismissive of the threat following the first few American cases. Trump and other administrative officials said the situation was under control. In one of his speeches Trump quoted that ” It’s gng to disappear one day. It’s like a miracle”. The president has also feuded with democratic state governors. Thus shows the lack of unity between the governors and president.
Social Distancing Failure : Social distancing is the other important tool in controlling the pandemic. People in US aren’t following the social distancing seriously. College students are attending for large gatherings like parties. And many churches are organising religious gatherings. Across the country, there have been numerous examples of failure of social distancing. Curtailing of public transportation services such as metros or subways lead to increase the crowd in buses and trains. Many students returned their homes from universities this have contributed to the spread of virus in the cities which are not in complete lock down. US is the third most popular Tourist destination country in the world, and US is the second popular country from which most of the tourist travel so there is both inflow and outflow of people to the country, this is the another major reason for the rapid spread of pandemic in US.
Conclusion : Despite of all these problems, it would be better if US government take some preventive measures like rapid testing as done by South Korea and Taiwan, which became successful in controlling the pandemic by rapid testing. And its the responsibility of the citizens to follow the steps like social distancing and follow the rules and guidelines issued by the government . Thus the responsibility lies with both government and citizens in controlling the pandemic.