Lingering Stench

As much as anyone, I want to bask in the glow of a new day and a seemingly competent group of people in the Biden-Harris administration. But turning the corner on the Trump show is going to be more difficult than perhaps hoped for. He’s gone from office, and this is a great thing. But before he left– and really all along the way–he did his best to sabotage the next administration, hamstring it.

Turns out that, to probably no one’s surprise, there was no vaccine distribution plan to speak of. No Covid-19 plan, overall. Other than a travel ban early on.

Robert Redfield took exception yesterday to news outlet claims that next to nothing had been done with regard to the vaccine roll-out. He pointed to the fact that there were a couple recent days where over a million people had received the vaccine, which I suppose says something. But it still doesn’t get at the larger issue of there being millions of doses not being where they need to be, and not nearly enough doses currently being produced to sustain Biden’s ambitious plan of one million vaccinations a day for a hundred days.

What continues to bother me, as we exhale now and sift through the wreckage, is why the Trump administration decided to take the hands-off approach to dealing with the worst public health crisis in over a century. Was it pure ideology—the classic Republican talking point in support of minimal Fed involvement in the lives of everyday Americans? As in “leave it to the states?”

Unlikely. It seems more likely that there was simply a lack of will to act. Ineptitude, laziness, a dearth of expertise when it came to the development of a plan in the first place. That and the fact that the pandemic was viewed as a political liability that had to be downplayed and treated as if it wasn’t happening.

Anyone who had a bad feeling about the outcome of the election held November 8, 2016, should know now that, beyond a shadow of a doubt, their feelings were entirely justified.

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