Email from Robert Reich, 10 May 2020

On 10 May, I received an email from Robert Reich. It appraises the state of our country in May 2020. I will quote the entire email here in a series of posts because it is completely factual and offers entirely quantitative evidence for its conclusions. I invite reactions from readers.


Dear Tom,

No other nation has endured as much death from Covid-19 nor nearly as a high a death rate as has the United States.

With 4.25% of the world population, America has the tragic distinction of accounting for about 30% of pandemic deaths so far.

And it is the only advanced nation where the death rate is still climbing. Three thousand deaths per day are anticipated by June 1st.

No other nation has loosened lockdowns and other social-distancing measures while deaths are increasing, as the US is now doing.

No other advanced nation was as unprepared for the pandemic as was the US.

We now know Donald Trump and his administration were told by public health experts in mid-January that immediate action was required to stop the spread of Covid-19. But according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, “there was a lot of pushback.” Trump didn’t act until March 16th.

More tomorrow.

4 thoughts on “Email from Robert Reich, 10 May 2020”

  1. Robert Reich was always a professional, highly regarded public servant. It is almost too painful to read his thoughts. And still, we must. Why? One word. November.


  2. I’m reminded of a couple quotes. First from Harper Lee – “People see what they look for and hear what the listen for.” The second is attributed to Mark Twain. “You have lies, damn lies and then there are statistics.”
    When I dig into the data from Johns Hopkins that reports that the US has incurred 80,900 deaths and globally there have been 287,158 deaths, Dr. Reich, whom I respect, is correct in stating that the US has nearly 30% of all the deaths. But if you dig down into the data, it shows China reporting 4,637 deaths (Really?) and Russia reporting 6,733 as examples of a likely gross under-reporting of data.
    And on his second point that the US didn’t act until March 16th, let’s not forget that the President closed the borders to China on February 2 to much criticism.


    1. First of all, Norm, the likelihood is that the known 80,900 deaths are far short of the actual total. There is general consensus among experts on that. Second, the consensus among experts is equally strong that Trump did almost nothing to combat the pandemic until it was out of hand. Trump’s ban of entries from China was so full of exceptions and loopholes that it did little good. Since then, Trump has refused to take responsibility and blamed governors and mayors for failing to stop the pandemic. At one of the worst times in out history, we need national leadership. Instead we get Trump blaming everybody else for his inaction.


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