A socialist critique of American society, American politics, American social policy, American wealth inequalities, American racial disparities, and most of all, the American health care system in The Lancet theorizes that 40 percent of deaths related to COVID-19 were “unnecessary.”
The surprising thing is that it’s probably all true — at least, from the point of view of a socialist. The upshot of the study is that America doesn’t spend enough money on the poor, we aren’t nice to people of color, there are too many filthy rich people, and we have allowed this decline over the last 40 years which has led to a reduced life span and all kinds of health problems we shouldn’t have — because we don’t spend enough public money on healthcare.
Because no socialist countries are having any of these problems, right?
Their critique of Trump’s response to the crisis leaves a lot out, but is generally accurate.
“Instead of galvanizing the US populace to fight the pandemic, President Trump publicly dismissed its threat (despite privately acknowledging it), discouraged action as infection spread, and eschewed international cooperation,” read the report. “His refusal to develop a national strategy worsened shortages of personal protective equipment and diagnostic tests. President Trump politicized mask-wearing and school reopenings and convened indoor events attended by thousands, where masks were discouraged and physical distancing was impossible.”
When public health officials deemed “credible” by the mainstream media give wildly conflicting and contradictory advice to both policymakers and the public, who are people to believe?
And Trump didn’t make mask wearing or school reopenings “political.” We have the American media who tried shaming people — many of them Republicans — who didn’t wear masks calling them “criminal” and “murderers” to thank for that.
Oh…and of course, the teacher’s unions had nothing whatsoever to do with politicizing school reopenings, right?
The problem with seeing the world through a partisan prism is that you miss a lot. Not partisan in the sense of a political party, but in the cause of advancing a political agenda under the guise of science.
The study also found that the pandemic increased the mortality gap between Black and white Americans by 50 percent and cut the life expectancy of Latinos by nearly four years. It stated that “the fact that COVID-19 affects Black, Indigenous, and Latinx people disproportionately has reinforced longstanding health inequities driven by racially patterned disparities in housing, wealth, employment, and social and political rights.”
The U.S. has a blind spot when it comes to race and no one wants to be canceled for wondering if cultural differences in approach to virus mitigation in communities of color might have had something to do with high positivity rates and higher mortality. Perhaps it wasn’t such a good idea to have a block party attended by 500 people during a pandemic, or eschew wearing a mask, or not believe in social distancing. The open invitation to the coronavirus wasn’t a question of color. But it may have been a question of cultural differences.
It should be noted that many black and Latino families tend to live in smaller quarters and many households are multi-generational. This is a necessity brought about by differences with whites in education and income. Scholars can argue whether racism led to those disparities. But to not even consider culture as a contributing factor in COVID deaths shows how scientific inquiry has been affected by fears of a racial backlash.
The Lancet study lays additional blame on Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan so it’s not entirely an anti-Trump screed. But it will give ammunition to Democrats who want to make America look more like Europe and not the United States.