Tapper Calls Out Surge in Pandemic Cases, Deaths: ‘Numerically and Empirically a Huge Failure by Our Leaders’
CNN’s Jake Tapper called out the country’s stubbornly disproportionate high number of coronavirus cases and deaths compared to the rest of the world, describing it as “numerically and empirically a huge failure by our leaders.”
During a Tuesday afternoon discussion with Harvard public health professor, Dr. Ashish Jha, Tapper scrutinized the United States’ record-high number of coronavirus deaths and the recent spikes in nearly two-dozen states and asked what more President Donald Trump could do to turn around the country’s poor track record.
“If President Trump tomorrow said: ‘OK, doc, you’re in charge, unlimited funding, you can do whatever you want. Help us get control of this.’ What would you do?” Tapper asked.
“This is not rocket science,” Jha explained, before listing mandatory mask wearing, enforced social distancing and limited indoor public gatherings, and vastly more testing and tracing as three key steps to defeating the virus until a successful vaccine is available. “This is the same list that we’ve been saying for weeks and months. We just don’t seem to have the political will or interest to try to implement it.”
“I guess that’s my next question is why not?” Tapper pressed. “I mean, there was a move — obviously, if you listen to Dr. [Anthony] Fauci and you listen to Dr. [Deborah] Birx, they’re in favor of doing what you’re talking about. But President Trump, it seems, has just decided that this is over and he just wants to go back to normal and that we could just act as if everything’s fine, and maybe it will just all go away.”
This past Saturday, Trump ignited outrage when he suggested that he had encouraged official to “slow down” testing so the positive case numbers would look less embarrassing. White House officials rushed to dispel the president’s alarmingly callous sentiment as merely a “tongue in cheek” joke made “in jest.” But Trump then seemed to blow up that damage control narrative for him on Tuesday, when he told a White House reporter asking if he was kidding with this “slow down” remarks: “I don’t kid.”
“So what we know is that it will not all go away,” Jha emphasized. “We don’t unfortunately get to decide when we put the pandemic behind us. The pandemic decides when it’s over. And we’ve got to deal with the reality at hand. Like, this is about being an adult. You don’t just get to ignore something in front of you because you don’t like it anymore or you’re tired of it. And I don’t completely understand why our federal government feels to me like it is giving up on the pandemic and letting states and cities all figure it out on their own, which is going to be very hard for us to be able to fight a pandemic this way.”
“I find it amazing that the United States has a population of about four or five percent of the world’s population, but we have roughly a quarter, 25%, of the world’s coronavirus deaths if you go by official figures,” Tapper said. As of Tuesday, roughly 121,000 of the 474,000 global coronavirus deaths have occurred in the US, and more than 2.3 million of the 9.2 million global cases have been found here. “Obviously, who knows what you can trust coming from China. But that just seems to me like numerically and empirically a huge failure by our leaders.”
“Yeah. I think there is pretty broad consensus, not just here but around the world, that America is on track to have the worst performance of any high-income country. We might look good by comparison to places like Brazil and Russia. But compared to the countries we generally like to compare ourselves to, to France, Germany, Spain, the Scandinavian countries, other European nations, Japan, other east Asian countries, we’re going to probably be at the bottom of that list.”
Watch the video above, via CNN.
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