US government puts political interests before people in neglecting COVID-19

By Tom Fowdy
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, October 27, 2020
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A man wearing a face mask walks across a road in Los Angeles, the United States, on Oct. 26, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

"We are not going to control the pandemic," declared White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in an interview with CNN on Sunday night. "We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation areas." 

His remark was made despite America having achieved a new record on Saturday of over 80,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in a single day, with over 220,000 dead so far since the first appearance of the disease. 

The first wave in the country has never quite ended, but the mounting turmoil and the growing list of casualties are not prompting any new actions from the White House; indeed, it simply seems to double resistance to do so. 

Despite the public health crisis, the White House still puts politics first instead of the people. Considering the fact that renewed lockdown measures and restrictions are a threat to the economy, the U.S. government has forcibly undermined the country's lockdown process, as well as marginalized the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and leading health experts such as immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci. 

In every dynamic, it is considered politically untenable for a government to take punitive measures against the virus; as a result, the White House has made the decision to "ride out the wave" and simply kick the can down the road by vaguely pledging access to a vaccine, or, to put it bluntly, to give up.

"LIBERATE MINNESOTA," proclaimed Trump on Twitter as far back as April, and doing the same for a number of other states when the first phase of the COVID-19 pandemic was still peaking. 

The United States had then been in lockdown for only a month, and anti-lockdown protests were beginning to emerge throughout the country with people believing that individual liberty was more important than the common good. 

Pedestrians walk past sale posters in New York, the United States, Oct. 25, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

Due to the pressure of dismal economic results and job losses, the Trump administration began to politically undermine attempts to combat the virus, and move to a strategy of playing it down.

This seemed like a gamble, which paid off at first, as the U.S. curve was at that point flattening, but the rapid re-opening of the national economy and failure of authorities to organize adequate social distancing and containment contingencies resulted in not a second wave of the virus, but a rapid re-escalation of the first one, and at record levels. 

Instead of taking active response, the U.S. government sidelined the role of the CDC and experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci in the process, as U.S. cases climbed beyond 40,000, 50,000 and 60,000 per day; indeed, it even withdrew from the World Health Organization. 

This is where the country has remained ever since. Despite the never-ending circulation of the virus and the growth in its severity, the government has remained focused on its own political interests over the broader interests of the public at large. 

This shows, ultimately, that the government does not care about the American people, and, in turn, it exposes the weakness of the American political system by highlighting explicitly its preference for the interests of big business and billionaires.

Ordinary lives, and actually bringing the virus under control, seem to matter little to an administration that cannot even contemplate taking any "tough decisions" that might be for the greater good. Given this, political inaction, playing the virus down and blaming others have literally become the White House's entire strategy to combat the COVID-19.

Of course, there can be no denying that this is a catastrophe and an abysmal failure in political leadership. In the midst of a national crisis, the government has quite openly given up. 

Playing politics has ultimately been more important than the long-term health of the nation. In the long run, this will prove exceptionally damaging to global perceptions of America's image, competence, leadership and reliability. 

Tom Fowdy is a British political and international relations analyst and a graduate of Durham and Oxford universities. He writes on topics pertaining to China, the DPRK, Britain and the U.S. For more information please visit:

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