To fully understand how incompetent the Donald J. Trump administration has been in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic one needs to look at the cold hard numbers of death. The problem is not that the pandemic was unexpected. Every country has had to deal with it. The problem is not the growing numbers of unemployment nor the economic disaster. Each country has also had to deal with those issues.
Although unprecedented in history, the Covid-19 is an emergency like all other emergencies in history.
Comparing the number of Coronavirus deaths to other historical events like war and other pandemics gives us the true scope of Donald Trump’s incompetence.
As of yesterday morning (May 18, 2020) there have been 315,822 global deaths. Of those, 28% or 89,567 have died in the United States. The United States leads in the number of Covid-19 deaths, well ahead of the United Kingdom at 34,716 and Italy at 31,908. These figures are from the John Hopkins Covid-19 tracking tool.
Although those numbers are mind-numbing especially when compared to the rest of the world, they become even more alarming when compared to other pandemics and national emergencies.
Take, for example, the number of U.S. deaths during the Vietnam War. The Vietnam War lasted from 1964 through 1975. It is estimated that 47,434 American soldiers died in that war. Clearly that is less what Covid-19 has killed in America over the last four months.
During the Korean War, about 36,516 Americans died in that war, including about 3,000 casualties from other than combat operations.
Less than 3,000 people died as a result of the September 11 attacks. The war in Afghanistan (2001-2018) has cost the United States 2,401 dead. The invasion of Iraq (2003-2018) has resulted in 4,550 U.S. military deaths. All the dead in the wars between 2001 and 2018 tally to almost 10,000, far less that the Covid-19 dead over the last four months.
But it is not war some readers may be thinking, it is a global pandemic.
The 1918 Flu (H1N1) pandemic killed about 675,000 according to the CDC. During the 1957-1958 Flu pandemic (H2N2), about 116,000 Americans died because of it. The 1968 H3N3 pandemic killed about 100,000 in the United States, also according to the CDC. The CDC also reported that the H1N1 pandemic in 2009 resulted in 12,469 deaths in the U.S.
Clearly, the Coronavirus has been devastating American lives. In four-to-six months, the virus has killed almost 90,000 Americans and there is no end in sight. The previous flu pandemics resulted in about 100,000 each prior to the 2009 pandemic. Each new pandemic saw reduced mortality rates, until now.
It is the job of the American president to lead the nation through dangerous global disasters. In this case, Donald J. Trump has clearly failed as the tallies of Covid-19 deaths continue to add up.