SEVERE WX : Flood Warning View Alerts

The one vital message of nearing 100,000 US deaths

Article Image

On Memorial Day weekend, the front page of The New York Times' Sunday edition will feature the names of approximately 1,000 victims of the coronavirus pandemic. The partial list represents just one percent of the current US death toll. CNN's Brian Stelter has more.

Posted: May 25, 2020 8:21 AM
Updated: May 25, 2020 8:21 AM

On this somber Memorial Day weekend, America is approaching the grim milestone of 100,000 Covid-19 deaths in a population of 330 million. Six Asia-Pacific nations -- Australia, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Taiwan and Vietnam -- have just over 1,200 coronavirus deaths in a combined population almost the same as the US, 328 million. On May 23, the Johns Hopkins coronavirus tracker shows that America recorded 1,208 new deaths, while the six Asia-Pacific countries recorded just 13 deaths: 12 in Japan, 1 in Australia, and 0 in the others.

America has failed to control the epidemic while many other countries, and not just the six in the Asia-Pacific, have succeeded.

The American political system has not been focused on how to end the epidemic. Our political debates from the first days of the epidemic have taken the bait of Donald Trump's nonsensical Twitter feed: chloroquine, Clorox, China pro and con, WHO pro and con, filling church pews by Easter, the liberation of states, the bailout of the post office, the loyalty of Fox News, and whether or not to wear a face mask at the Ford Motor plant. This is not the politics of problem solving; it is the politics of distraction.

Six months into the epidemic and around 100,000 deaths later we still do not have systematic contact tracing across the country. Neither the President nor Congress has focused on the topic even though it is the key to keeping Americans alive and restoring the economy.

Our politics are tribal and ineffective. Rather than designing a system of nationwide contact tracing, we debate Trump versus House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. As Americans, we should readily agree that both the President and Congress have failed miserably. Neither has focused on how to stop the epidemic. Both have focused on blaming the other.

The truth is simple and grim. If we don't stop the epidemic, we will face many more deaths and a long and deep depression. It would be wonderful if a vaccine suddenly rescues us from our persistent failure to implement basic public health measures. But don't bet on it. The recent news stories on vaccines have the hallmarks of hype, the kind of stories typically followed by long delays and disappointments. That's not a forecast, just an urgent point that we should not leave the rescue of the republic to unproven vaccines still in the early stages of development.

Sadly, many state and local governments have failed to compensate for the lack of federal leadership. Yes, there were dire shortages of testing equipment because of shocking failures at the federal level. Yet much more epidemic control could have been achieved nonetheless at the state and local level.

New York, for example, failed to note the early spread of the epidemic or to create systems for contact tracing when it was urgently needed. Even worse, New York state health authorities disastrously ordered that convalescing Covid-19 patients should be moved from hospitals to nursing homes, thereby risking mass infections in those highly vulnerable settings. There have been thousands of avoidable and tragic deaths in the state's care centers. And yet some cities, such as Paterson, New Jersey, have innovated and set a crucial standard for the rest.

Thousands more preventable deaths lie ahead unless and until we start focusing as a nation on ending the epidemic. Ignore Trump's Twitter feed. It has nothing to do with our real and urgent needs. Our core question should be this: How can the United States quickly and urgently implement basic public health measures -- contact tracing, testing, quarantining, and safe public and workplace practices -- already achieved in the Asia-Pacific and many other countries? Only by stopping the rampant spread of the disease can we be safe and can our economy function once again.

In this coming week, Congress should return immediately -- online if necessary -- to consider this issue and this issue alone. By the end of the week, Congress should vote for legislation to finance and otherwise support the urgent and immediate scale-up of nationwide contact tracing and safe workplace practices. The National Governors Association and the United States Conference of Mayors should do the same.

Within a few days we could finally have a meeting of the minds and a national strategy, with or without Trump. We have suffered enough from rudderless, distracted and deadly politics.

West Lafayette
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 55°
Kokomo
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 55°
Rensselaer
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 55°
Fowler
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 55°
Williamsport
Clear
58° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 58°
Crawfordsville
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 57°
Frankfort
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 57°
Delphi
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 55°
Monticello
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 55°
Logansport
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 55°
A cold and frosty start but enjoy the dry weather today.
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1012606

Reported Deaths: 16567
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1360682133
Lake667261170
Allen58341804
Hamilton46545468
St. Joseph44627619
Elkhart36101512
Vanderburgh32358482
Tippecanoe28053261
Johnson25224447
Hendricks23977362
Porter23018367
Madison18848412
Clark18640254
Vigo17562304
Monroe15340199
LaPorte15249252
Delaware15135264
Howard14839292
Kosciusko12433149
Hancock11788177
Bartholomew11712180
Warrick11314188
Floyd11149216
Wayne11036254
Grant10159220
Morgan9512178
Boone8976116
Dubois8291132
Henry8265155
Dearborn824793
Noble8075106
Marshall7995135
Cass7569123
Lawrence7494172
Shelby7236117
Jackson701990
Gibson6621115
Harrison653293
Huntington6456100
Knox6429107
DeKalb6375102
Montgomery6304112
Miami596298
Putnam584879
Clinton579772
Whitley569756
Steuben568677
Jasper537681
Wabash5372104
Jefferson513997
Ripley502587
Adams484876
Daviess4692115
Scott440576
Greene428496
Clay427760
Wells426388
White421365
Decatur4182105
Fayette407587
Jennings390763
Posey377944
LaGrange362779
Washington360551
Randolph348199
Spencer341243
Fountain337060
Sullivan331252
Starke319871
Owen316271
Fulton315868
Orange295564
Jay286446
Franklin266743
Perry265852
Rush264432
Carroll262534
Vermillion260554
Parke232429
Pike229744
Tipton229359
Blackford195143
Pulaski184757
Newton160448
Crawford160226
Benton151417
Brown147547
Martin139819
Switzerland135611
Warren121416
Union107316
Ohio85013
Unassigned0545

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events