The worst day in the United States for new coronavirus cases destroyed President Donald Trump’s fantasy of a post-covid America, even as he sowed new distractions to hide the reality of his leadership vacuum in a deepening national crisis.
On Saturday, June 27, the United States surpassed the 2.5 million cases of coronavirus, according to the independent assessment carried out by Johns Hopkins University, when the country is experiencing an exponential increase of infections in several states.
At 2130, GMT, there were 2,500,419 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the Baltimore-based university. The death toll, meanwhile, exceeded 125,000.
The 2.5 million cases recorded in the country represent 25.3% of the total number of infected people globally.
The new data suggest that the sacrifices made by tens of millions of Americans who stayed home, which cost many of them their jobs, may have been in vain. The aggressive state reopenings advocated by Trump, who wants a quick economic restart to boost his reelection hopes, exacerbated a situation that now appears to be out of control in a swath of southern states.
Now, 30 states report an increase in daily new cases of coronavirus, while others continue to set new records every 24 hours. Meanwhile, Trump lives in a bubble of obsessive political disputes, under the warm embrace of conservative media that rarely focuses on the virus, and the reality of a pandemic from which even worse scenarios are expected.
The country is alarmed by the increase in hospital admissions and the rise in new infections. Apple has closed stores in Texas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina to protect customers and workers from the spike in the virus. U.S. retail giant Macy’s announced that it would cut about 3,900 jobs as part of a restructuring effort during an economic crisis.
Dozens of Secret Service agents are now self-isolating after several of their colleagues were found to have the virus after traveling to the president’s rally in Oklahoma. Several of Trump’s campaign employees have taken the same step after eight of their co-workers tested positive for the latest sign that Trump’s plans for a full resumption of campaign rallies are unwise but may prove logistically impossible.
California is facing a terrible time, Disneyland postponing its plans for reopening, a symbolic illustration of the plight of an entire state, and indeed a nation that has seen leisure and frivolity disappear during the worst internal crisis since World War II.
The economic recovery that Trump has been boasting so much about is not materializing either. The White House’s top economic advisor, Larry Kudlow, said that unemployment could fall below 10% by the end of the year, which means it would still be high when Trump faces reelection in November.
In recent days, Trump has frequently ignored the virus, preferring to fan racial and social divisions over the demolition of statues, even ordering the reinstallation of a monument in Washington, honoring a Confederate general.
Last Thursday, June 25, Trump boarded “Air Force One” for the third time in five days for a cross-country trip to the state of Wisconsin, where he violated his own government’s guidelines on the wearing of masks and social distancing. Experts see these actions as a massive deviation from the national tragedy. Trump seems determined to ignore the disease and its effects, as it contradicts his grand narrative about the reopening he is determined to use for his reelection campaign.
Trump has said countless times that the virus was “fading” and would “disappear.” It hasn’t. He also predicted that the United States would have a coronavirus vaccine before the end of the year, even against most scientific experts’ advice. That, too, has not happened.
One thing is real. The gap between Trump’s vision and reality raises a question that so far has no answer. How much longer can the president of the United States continue to ignore his country’s critical situation?
The Yucatan Times
June 28, 2020
Merida Yucatan, Mexico
The editorial board of the Yucatan Times is made up of a group of 9 people of different nationalities and qualifications, selected for their background and objectivity, who rely on research, analysis, and individual expertise to reach an accorded view of important issues.
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