America Needs a Ventilator

A galaxy of difference exists between the shortcomings of the World Health Organization and those of Donald “I don’t any responsibility” Trump.

The WHO, operating on a remarkably small budget given its enormous mission and possessing no legal power, has an impossibly difficult mission. It must, in order to save lives, cajole and maneuver its way into many countries with vastly different political systems and degrees of openness. The practice of realpolitik coupled with misjudging China’s prevarications are obviously worthy of criticism, but it’s not surprising that they occurred given the complications intrinsic to the task. The WHO investigators can’t just kick down the door and demand to see records.

Trump’s failures, by contrast, were 100% avoidable. As the record clearly demonstrates, he knew full well of the projected catastrophic loss of life in the U.S. and could have gone to much greater lengths to save American lives than restricting travel from China. Instead, he spent February dithering in a deluded, self-absorbed campaign of denying the dangers existed at all. Was he lying? Was he stupid? With Trump, it’s often hard to tell. Whichever the reason, many people have died unnecessarily because of it.

The timing of the travel restrictions also demonstrates plainly that Trump had intelligence available to him that showed how dangerous it was, which, because the U.S. is a party to the International Heath Regulations (IHR) agreement, he was obligated to share with the WHO but apparently declined or neglected to.

His attempt to cut funding is a bald-faced attempt to deflect blame from himself that only his hypnotized followers and his nihilistic enablers would believe. Sadly, those two groups comprise neary half of the electorate in moribund America.