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Americans distrust of government, exceptionalism led to U.S. failure in pandemic control

United States to date leads in the total number of COVID-19 cases confirmed across the globe.

Washington, US | Xinhua | The U.S. people’s distrust of the government and their deep conviction that disasters are things happening to others have resulted in the country’s current predicament amid the pandemic, said an opinion piece published recently by the U.S. magazine Foreign Policy.

The article, titled “Why the United States Can’t Defeat the Coronavirus,” pointed out that “for too many Americans, disasters are things that happen to other people, never themselves.”

It noted that since the outbreak of the epidemic, many Americans hold the belief that “This can’t really be happening,” a denial of reality.

By quoting what South Dakota nurse Jodi Doering told CNN, the article said “People are still looking for something else, and they want a magic answer, and they don’t want to believe that COVID is real … Their last dying words are, ‘This can’t be happening. It’s not real.'”

Considering the fact that government departments are underfunded, the article said Americans’ everyday experience with government services is “bureaucratic, oppressive, and unpleasant.”

“From crumbling infrastructure to a tax system and a carceral state that target the poor, Americans have ample reason to not trust the government to do its job,” it said.

Moreover, the article analyzed that the United States never “really” imposed a lockdown and the country has not carried out a centralized test-and-trace program, which is necessary to spot and stamp out possible outbreaks.

“Key among these has been a centralized and mandatory system for quarantine and isolation, not just for patients themselves but for those exposed to them,” it pointed out.

“It was this step that crushed the spread of the virus in China and has helped contain it elsewhere,” it added.



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