Quote (Handcuffs @ 31 Mar 2020 04:51)
I think the major thing, in my mind, that sticks out in this situation and that was very different than the AIDS epidemic is Trump's commitment to appearances and optics surrounding American exceptionalism. There was such a strong desire to downplay covid-19 as just "a flu" and that we had "the virus contained", but nothing could have been further from the truth. The short attention span of media cycles is concerning in this regard, because now an incredible amount of people think Trump's response has been of quality and agree with him when he said that he "Knew it was a pandemic before it was even called a pandemic".
I wish American culture allowed for a more humanistic approach to holding people accountable. We don't want leaders to recognize that they fucked up. Instead, they should just spin, pivot, and deny. Our country wasn't ready for covid-19 to hit us, and it shows. Own up to it and take action.
Honestly, I dont think that the issue was Trump's idea of American exceptionalism. It imho was textbook denial. Things were going well for him, and he just didnt want it to be true that a black swan event came around and shredded the strong economy which was supposed to be the cornerstone of his reelection campaign. And he of course knows that a pandemic would put the topic of healthcare to the forefront of the public debate, which happens to be the one topic where Democrats have an overwhelming lead over Republicans.
Trump buried his head in the sand for a couple of weeks before he finally came to terms with the fact that this virus is here to stay and that it'll really be on him to do something about it. Essentially, all the shuffling we're seeing now around the nation is just the country playing catch up to those 2-3 weeks that were lost at the most crucial time.
To be fair, the leaders of most other big countries were also in denial and hesitated too long until they initiated the shutdowns. Trump's example is particularly egregious, but he's not nearly the only world leader who dropped the ball on coronavirus.