After Pandemic

A Brief History of Covid-19

More than a year has past as the world’s death toll rose, the SARS-CoV-2 (aka COVID-19) was slow to reveal its secrets as it proceeded to shut down much of the planet, while killing more than 2.6 million people in the most disruptive global health disaster since the influenza pandemic of 1918.

More than a year into this global health emergency, Maria Van Kerkhove, an epidemiologist with the World Health Organization, summed things up this way …We are humbled by this virus.”

Beginning late in 2019 it was apparent something was wrong and even threating like a storm on the horizon.

Warnings from the scientific and medical communities charted the progress of what would be soon identified as a global pandemic, exemplified by these early and revealing expert and official quotes:

Dec. 31, 2019…   ‘I was wrong about it’  

  • 44 suspected cases, 0 deaths

Jan. 10, 2020…  ‘This virus still is controllable’

  • 41 cases, 1 death

Jan. 30, 2020…  ‘We are all in this together’

  • 7,818 cases, 170 deaths

In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed in January 2020 the first domestic case of human-to-human transmission.

The following month it was revealed to the public on February 4, 2020 that COVID-19 was … ‘20 times more infectious and 20 times more lethal’ : at this time there were 23,898 reported cases, and 492 deaths. 

Less than 2 weeks later expects told us ‘I don’t think I know a single person who would anticipate it would get to this magnitude’ : 69,052 cases, 1,666 deaths.

A  year later, U.S. government officials on March 1 , 2021, candidly admitted … We have underestimated definitely the staying power of this epidemic’ : 117 million cases, 6 million deaths

Postmortem Pandemic Politics

Scientific and medical experts had been warning of a viral pandemic for many years.  This was not a “black swan” event, not a “perfect storm.  A viral pandemic is an obvious vulnerability in this age of economic globalization, when nearly 8 billion people and their parasitic viruses are highly networked and mobile.

“We were always going to have spread in the fall and the winter, but it didn’t have to be nearly this bad,” said Scott Gottlieb, a former FDA commissioner in the Trump administration. “We could have done better galvanizing collective action, getting more adherence to masks. The idea that we had this national debate on the question of whether masks infringed on your liberty was deeply unfortunate. It put us in a bad position.”

For former President Trump it was never about the science or the public cost measured in pandemic lives lost, it was always about a self-serving political calculus. One which ignored reality and supported his failed leadership by blaming others and not taking responsibility of how America arrived at such a death toll during the pandemic peak that for so many consecutive days, COVID-19 victims daily count surpassed 3,000 Americans — a new 9/11 day after day.

Former President Trump’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic still looms large, measured by a historic delayed and a mismanaged Federal response with costs still be tallied.

One issue that still resonates within the research community is the extent to which this past president and his administration meddled with and obstructed science and scientific advice during the pandemic — often with disastrous results.

Complicating matters, were famous Trump insights and pandemic quotes:

It’s hard to forget, when the President Trump, advocated disinfectants as means of treating the virus, and how it could be injected into humans to combat Covid-19: “I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute, one minute, and is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning?”

Last year, Trump announced guidance recommending that Americans wear face coverings in public to help fight the spread of the virus.  However, he immediately followed up the scripted announcement by saying: “I’m choosing not to do it.  It’s a recommendation, they recommend it,”   Trump added, “I just don’t want to wear one myself.” 

Famously, Trump also recommended the use of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine, a claim scientifically discredited and which Oxford University researchers found to have no clinical benefit, but supported Trump family investments in hydroxychloroquine supplier, Plaquenil.


The contrast in leadership in addressing the pandemic could NOT be greater than between former president Trump and the President Biden.

President Biden, pledging a “full-scale wartime effort” to combat the coronavirus pandemic, signed a string of executive orders and presidential directives on Thursday aimed at combating the worst public health crisis in a century, including new requirements for masks on interstate planes, trains and buses and for international travelers to quarantine after arriving in the United States.

In January the Biden administration release its “National Strategy for the Covid-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness,” plan, providing for the kind of centralized federal response that Democrats have long demanded and that Trump failed to provide.

Experts praise Biden's Covid-19 plan, but warn that undoing Trump-era mistakes will take time

Within days of taking office, President Biden carrying out his longstanding pledge to invoke the Defense Production Act to combat the coronavirus pandemic, by signing an executive order directing federal agencies to increase production of materials needed for vaccines and to increase the nation’s supply of essential items like coronavirus tests and personal protective equipment.

President Joe Biden’s stimulus plan is on the verge of being cleared by the House of Representatives in a vote today that will  provide an essential lifeline to Hawaii, and for millions of American families and businesses. The relief package has been hailed as “transformative” and a political miracle in today’s highly divided political processes.  The House vote on the bill, will mean most American households will be receiving checks of up to $1,400, and comes after the Senate passed a modestly reworked version of the package on Saturday.  Political pundits have described it as truly historic, and a transformative piece of legislation which will go a very long way towards ending the COVID-19 virus impacts and solving an unprecedented economic crisis.

The national leadership exercised by President Biden is beginning of a long road to recover and healing for the nation, while challenges and obstacles to recovery remain.

Vaccinations and Outreach

The Biden administration said Tuesday that it is shipping 15.8 million additional vaccine doses to states, tribes and territories, with another 2.7 million first doses to pharmacies. Currently, there are 2.17 million vaccine shots being administered a day on average.

“It’s just a first step,” Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said on Tuesday, referring to the CDC’s new guidance for fully vaccinated people. “As more people are vaccinated, they’ll look at ways to ease additional restrictions.”







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