For those of us of the Baby Boom generation, it was unquestionable that the United States was “the best” country in the world.
Despite the war in Vietnam, Watergate, recessions, 9/11, and other setbacks, America continued to be a global leader in just about every aspect of world affairs.
Basically, there was the U.S. — and then there was everybody else.
American exceptionalism was taken for granted (even if in truth we often were not all that exceptional).
However, the coronavirus has pulled back the curtain and exposed us for what we have become — a nation that ranks among the worst by many metrics. Compared to our supposed peers in Western Europe and Asia, our response to the pandemic has been pathetic. COVID-19 death rates per capita in Western Europe are only a 10th of the death rate in the U.S. And while theirs are falling, ours is rising.
Consider these additional facts:
How can it be that we have 4% of the world’s population, but we have 25% of the deaths from COVID-19?
How can it be that four months into the pandemic, we still do not have enough PPE (personal protective equipment) for our hospital and other front line workers?
How can it be that some of our states have more new cases of COVID-19 than entire countries?
How can it be that not only is the amount of our testing still woefully inadequate, but that our labs are so backed up that it is taking 5-7 days to get results — which all but makes the testing useless because results need to be made available within 24-48 hours?
COVID-19 has revealed us to be the equivalent of a so-called Third World country.
To put it simply, we have devolved from being a global leader to that of a global laggard with the result that thousands of Americans are getting sick and dying and our economy remains in tatters — and with no end in sight.