Letters to the Editor

U.S. Pandemic preparations were inadequate

I’m a COVID survivor — I contracted the virus five months after it arrived. We shut down, masked up and distanced — all for nothing — while we waited for others to comply. So my ears perked up when I heard a recent interview on CNN citing vast differences in mortality rates between the U.S. and other “developed” countries. I checked with statistics from Johns Hopkins University that bear out the dismal performance of the U.S.

Large countries like Canada had half our number in deaths per 100,000. We had 68.74 deaths while Canada only had 26.90. We barely edged out a “developing” country like Mexico which had 70.32 deaths. The real embarrassments were the two democracies of Japan with 1.35 deaths per 100,000 and South Korea with 0.89. Said differently, South Korea had 77 times fewer deaths than the U.S.!

It didn’t have to be this way. South Korea and the U.S. both had their first recorded COVID cases at the same time. We had an equal opportunity to prepare for the pandemic, and we flubbed it. They and the Japanese proceeded with careful preparations, and we did not. We waited for federal leadership which never came; instead, we got 50 different and confusing approaches on the state level. And to console us we got the discomforting words of our president, “It is what it is.” You know the rest of the story. After a debacle like this I can’t support Trump’s reelection.

James Conger

Iowa City

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