“They have taken a crisis and turned it into a tragedy,” the shocking scientific criticism of the United States for its role in the COVID-19 pandemic

A harsh NEJM editorial objected to the role of the authorities in handling the “greatest global health crisis” (REUTERS / Mike Blake)

In the current global context due to the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic, the prestigious scientific journal The New England Journal of Medicine, Has published a shocking editorial in which it highlights the COVID-19 disease that has created a worldwide crisis and has become a test of leadership and says that the first world power has not been able to overcome.

“Without good options to fight a new pathogen, countries were forced to make difficult decisions about how to respond. Here in the United States, our leaders failed that test. They have taken a crisis and turned it into a tragedy.

Editorial capture (NEJM)

Editorial capture (NEJM)

The magnitude of this failure is staggering. According to him Center Johns Hopkins Systems Science and EngineeringThe United States leads the world in COVID-19 cases and deaths due to the disease, far surpassing the numbers of much larger countries, such as China. The death rate in this country is more than double that of Canada, exceeds that of Japan, a country with a vulnerable and elderly population, by a factor of nearly 50, and even dwarfs rates in lower-middle-income countries, such as Vietnam, by a factor of nearly 2,000. COVID-19 is an overwhelming challenge, and many factors contribute to its severity. But what we can control is how we behave. And in America we have always misbehaved”, Analyzes critically.

We know we could have done better. China, faced with the first outbreak, opted for strict quarantine and isolation after an initial delay. These measures were severe but effective, essentially eliminating transmission at the point where the outbreak began and reducing the death rate to 3 per million, compared to more than 500 per million in the United States. The countries that had much more exchange with China, such as Singapore and South Korea, intensive testing began early, along with aggressive contact tracing and appropriate isolation, and they have had relatively small shoots. And New Zealand has used these same measures, along with their geographic advantages, to move closer to eliminating the disease, something that has allowed that country to limit the time of closure and largely reopen society to a pre-pandemic level ”, ensures.

Arcelia Aguilar, resident of the “Hogar Jardín De Los Abuelitos”, receives a hug from her niece María Aguilar through “The Wall of Hugs” which is a wall made with plastic sheets to protect herself from the potential coronavirus, in San Salvador, El Salvador (REUTERS / Jose Cabezas)

“¿Why the United States Has Handled This Pandemic So Badly? ”He wonders. “We have failed in almost every step. We had a wide warning, but when the disease first came, we were unable to test effectively and we were unable to provide even the most basic personal protective equipment to healthcare workers and the general public. And we are still way behind the curve in testing. While the absolute number of tests has risen substantially, the most useful metric is the number of tests performed per infected person, a rate that places us very low on the international list, below places like Kazakhstan, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia, countries that they cannot boast of the biomedical infrastructure or manufacturing capacity that we have. Further, Lack of emphasis on capacity development has meant that US test results are often long delayed, which makes them useless for disease control ”, he answered.

At Jazz Lounge Encounter, fishbowl-shaped acrylic displays used as part of new measures of social distancing and infection prevention against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are installed, where male customers sit inside the displays to being entertained by female nightclub form staff to seek encounters, in the Ginza district of Tokyo, Japan (REUTERS / Issei Kato)

At Jazz Lounge Encounter, fishbowl-shaped acrylic displays used as part of new measures of social distancing and infection prevention against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are installed, where male customers sit inside the displays to being entertained by female nightclub form staff to seek encounters, in the Ginza district of Tokyo, Japan (REUTERS / Issei Kato)

“Although we tend to focus on technology, most interventions that have large effects are not complicated. The United States instituted quarantine and isolation measures late and inconsistently, often without any effort to enforce them, after the disease had spread substantially in many communities. Our rules on social distancing in many places have been indifferent at best, with restrictions loosening long before adequate disease control had been achieved. And in much of the country, people just don’t wear masks, largely because our leaders have openly declared that masks are political tools more than effective infection control measures. The government has invested appropriately in vaccine development, but its rhetoric has politicized the development process and generated growing public mistrust. The United States entered this crisis with enormous advantages. In addition to enormous manufacturing capacity, we have a biomedical research system that is the envy of the world. We have enormous experience in public health, health policy, and basic biology, and we have been able to turn that experience into new therapies and preventive measures on a consistent basis. And much of that national experience resides in government institutions. However, our leaders have largely chosen to ignore and even denigrate the experts, ”he emphatically points out.

The document cautions that people in the United States simply don't wear masks, in large part because our leaders have openly declared that masks are political tools (Shutterstock)

The document cautions that people in the United States simply don’t wear masks, in large part because our leaders have openly declared that masks are political tools (Shutterstock)

And he adds: “The response from our nation’s leaders has been consistently inadequate. The federal government has largely left disease control to the states. Governors have varied in their responses, not so much by party as by competition. But whatever their jurisdiction, governors don’t have the tools that Washington controls. Instead of using those tools, the federal government has undermined them. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which was the world’s leading disease response organization, has been eviscerated and suffered dramatic trials and policy failures. The National Institutes of Health have played a key role in vaccine development, but have been excluded from many crucial government decisions. And the Food and Drug Administration has been embarrassingly politicized, it seems to respond to pressure from the administration rather than scientific evidence. Our current leaders have undermined trust in science and government, causing damage that will certainly outlive them. Instead of relying on experience, the administration has turned to uninformed ‘opinion leaders’ and charlatans who hide the truth and facilitate the promulgation of outright lies. “

The editorial was replicated in major media in the US (REUTERS / Maxim Shemetov / File Photo)

The editorial was replicated in major media in the US (REUTERS / Maxim Shemetov / File Photo)

“Let’s be clear about the cost of not taking even simple measures. An outbreak that has disproportionately affected communities of color has exacerbated tensions associated with inequality. Many of our children miss school at critical times in their social and intellectual development. The hard work of healthcare professionals, who have risked their lives, has not been used wisely. Our current leadership prides itself on the economy, but while most of the world has opened up to some extent, the United States still suffers from disease rates that have prevented many businesses from reopening, resulting in the loss of hundreds of billions of dollars. dollars and millions of jobs. And more than 200,000 Americans have died. Some deaths from COVID-19 were unavoidable. But, anyone who recklessly wastes lives and money in this way would be suffering legal consequences. Our leaders have largely claimed immunity for their actions. But this choice gives us the power to make judgments. Reasonable people will not agree with the many political positions taken by the candidates. But the truth is neither liberal nor conservative. When it comes to responding to the greatest public health crisis of our time, our current political leaders have shown themselves to be dangerously incompetent. We must not incite them and allow the death of thousands of Americans by allowing them to keep their jobs ”, he concludes in a final way.

I KEEP READING:

Donald Trump: “The fault of the coronavirus has been China and they will pay it”

What to know about the authorization of emergency use of vaccines against COVID-19

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.