As America continues to see record-breaking levels of new COVID-19 infections, countries around the world have successfully curbed the spread of the virus, allowing their economies to begin safely re-opening, and underscoring the abject failure of Donald Trump’s leadership to this crisis.
From the very beginning of this crisis, Donald Trump downplayed and ignored the threat of the virus, echoing the Chinese government’s misleading spin in an attempt to prop up a faulty trade deal while ignoring warnings from Vice President Biden, public health experts, and the intelligence community.
As the virus spread, Trump failed to quickly get testing in place, get adequate protective equipment to first responders on the frontlines, and provide clear leadership and guidance to communities grappling with COVID-19. And he’s failed to heed Vice President Biden’s repeated calls to take steps — immediately — that will help us get control of this virus and re-open.
Now, with more than 130,000 Americans dead and nearly 20 million workers jobless, and as new cases hit record highs, Trump is waving the white flag and his administration is telling Americans they need to learn “to live with it.”
It didn’t have to be this bad, but Trump’s failure has left America reeling and our health and economic well-being imperilled even as countries around the world have stopped the virus and are getting back to work — with the United States doing so poorly that the European Union has banned American travellers.
Here’s what they’re saying about Trump’s failure on COVID-19:
Wall Street Journal: As Coronavirus Surges in U.S., Some Countries Have Just About Halted It
Some European nations are closing in on a milestone that to the U.S. seems distant: virtually stopping the new coronavirus from spreading within their territories.
Echoing the achievement of Asia-Pacific countries such as New Zealand, Vietnam and Taiwan, a handful of places in Europe are reporting only a smattering of new daily infections. Their success in containing the pandemic has allowed them to reopen their economies earlier, at a faster clip and with greater confidence than the stop-start efforts of U.S. states and hard-hit neighbors such as the U.K.
Estonia has detected only 12 infections in the past two weeks; Iceland, 40. Norway has reported 187; Ireland 148. The latter two are each comparable in population to South Carolina, which over the same period reported almost 17,000 new cases of coronavirus infection.
In Asia, Taiwan has reported just three cases in the past two weeks, all incomers from overseas. Vietnam’s government says it hasn’t had a case of local transmission for 78 days straight.
New York Times (Opinion): How Badly Is America Doing?
When can schools safely reopen? When will the economy really start recovering? And when will you next eat in a restaurant, go to a movie, watch pro sports or hang out at a friend’s house?
All of these are, in fact, versions of the same question: When will the United States finally start to get the coronavirus under control?
And the answer appears to be: not any time soon.
The U.S. looks ever more like an outlier. Over the weekend, President Trump again played down the coronavirus as a serious threat, falsely claiming 99 percent of cases are harmless. In many places, Americans continued to socialize in proximity, without masks.
Much of the rest of the world is taking a very different approach. It is slowly moving back toward more normal functioning, without setting off major new outbreaks.
Schools in Japan and much of Europe have reopened. Restaurants in Iceland are bustling. The South Korean baseball season is in full swing.
The Atlantic (Opinion): Do Americans Understand How Badly They’re Doing?
On June 26, a day when the U.S. notched some 45,000 new cases—how’s that for “American carnage”?—the European Union announced that it would loosen some travel restrictions but extend its ban on visitors from the United States and other hot-spot nations. On Tuesday, it confirmed that remarkable and deeply humiliating decision, a clear message that in pandemic management, the EU believes that the United States is no better than Russia and Brazil—autocrat-run public-health disasters—and that American tourists would pose a dire threat to the hard-won stability our lockdown has earned us.