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Missteps by Trump administration contributed to U.S. “unique failure” to contain coronavirus

Washington, US | XINHUA | The tradition of prioritizing individualism over government restrictions and missteps by the Trump administration contributed to the U.S. “unique failure” to contain the novel coronavirus, said a report by The New York Times on Thursday.

“First, the United States faced longstanding challenges in confronting a major pandemic. It is a large country at the nexus of the global economy, with a tradition of prioritizing individualism over government restrictions,” it said.

“That tradition is one reason the United States suffers from an unequal health care system that has long produced worse medical outcomes — including higher infant mortality and diabetes rates and lower life expectancy — than in most other rich countries,” it said.

“The second major theme is one that public health experts often find uncomfortable to discuss because many try to steer clear of partisan politics,” said the report. “But many agree that the poor results in the United States stem in substantial measure from the performance of the Trump administration.”

“In no other high-income country — and in only a few countries, period — have political leaders departed from expert advice as frequently and significantly as the Trump administration,” it said.

“Together, the national skepticism toward collective action and the Trump administration’s scattered response to the virus have contributed to several specific failures and missed opportunities, Times reporting shows: a lack of effective travel restrictions; repeated breakdowns in testing; confusing advice about masks; a misunderstanding of the relationship between the virus and the economy; and inconsistent messages from public officials,” it said.

The United States has recorded more than 4.8 million cases with 158,171 deaths as of Wednesday, making it by far the worst-hit country in the world, according to data from the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.

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