U.S. Response to COVID-19 Disappoints

Politics cause inadequate COVID-19 preparedness


Zoe Florida

Mallika Malaviya, Contributing Writer

     America has built a reputation for being a nation that is successful in times of hardship and takes a leading role in recovering from crisis, so why is it that when the United States is faced with COVID-19, that its response has been one of the worst? This issue stems from three different reasons: extreme political polarization, a fundamental distrust in government, and the dismissal of scientific research and knowledge.

     In today’s political climate, a “fact” is filtered through the political affiliation a person is associated with. As an overall trend, knowledge has become disputable depending on the source’s political association.

     The debate on masks illustrates these issues in today’s America. It is scientifically proven that wearing a mask helps to prevent the spread of this virus. At the same time, many are accusing the government of infringing upon their rights when they implement regulations regarding wearing a mask.

     Although this information about masks stands to be true, the information that masks are not useful tools and that the government does not have the right to require them is spreading. This highlights how each political inclination references their own information that differs from the other making it difficult to understand what precautions to take during this time.

     Because America has become so polarized in this last election, people have begun to adhere to the information that their party associates with, making it harder to come together. These problems of polarization and individualism have always been ingrained within this nation, but the onset of this pandemic has both surfaced and deepened these issues that are preventing us from making any progress.

     When each party is more focused on being right, rather than moving forward, progress comes to a standstill. American exceptionalism has always stemmed from a sense of unity that surfaces during troubled times, but this pandemic has surfaced a new individualism instead, in which every person is for themselves.

     Will America continue to be the superpower that it is or does COVID-19 mark the end of an era?