COVID Cup Standings, End of March: Low Score Wins!
Best outcome can have a few definitions. The fair one would be "deaths per million population",and it would be even fairer to correct it for age profile of the nation, which would give Italy a break. But life isn't fair.
The news tends to grade stories by total death count. America will look even worse because of their high population. But we can't let the winner be Lichtenstein, so it has to be deaths-per-million, the far-right column in that snapshot from "worldometers.info" at right.
On both absolute and relative scales, poor, populous nations like India, Bangladesh, and Brazil with scant medical resource will fare the worst. Popular opinion of "who's the screwup" will then fall into leagues, like sports. We in the "developed nations" where you can normally expect a ventilator if you need one, where you expect the medical system to invent a "covid test factory" in a month flat and be churning out 10,000 tests per day the next week, will be the Major League.
America, so fond of such bragging as "USA, USA, Number One, All the Way", and "Leader of the Free World", is going to finish at the bottom.
There are many articles out now that focus, tediously, on Donald Trump personally: how this is the one challenge he can't game; can't spin, can't distract his way out with schoolyard insults to some liberal or foreigner. After people have sputtered in indignation at some racist remark, they'll come back to the mounting death toll. He can't escape it.
But Trump is just a proxy for the nation that elected him with open eyes and a full knowledge of his faults. It's a nation that feels itself invulnerable to real harm, serious harm. They figured even Trump couldn't hurt them that much. America dives into wars on purpose, confident they will never be more than a TV show at home - a microscopic percentage of the nation, drawn mostly for the poorest circumstances, will do the dying. Naturally, the hundreds of thousands of foreigner deaths are shrugged at.
Maybe Italy believed that "It Can't Happen Here", but really, nobody believes in their invulnerability like Americans: biggest military, biggest economy, biggest set of allies and client states. Then covid walked past all those aircraft carriers, past all the F-35s and atomic bombs, past all their giant banks, and made a mockery of all their strengths.
America's standing in the cellar of the Major League in the Covid Cup is not the payback of any specific bad decision, such as the election of Trump or the prioritization of military spending over civil spending. It's just a reflection of who they are, viewed from many angles.
The people doing the dying don't deserve it personally, any more than young soldiers who die in a war deserve the fate that warmongering old men handed them. But America, as a nation, will deservedly be at the bottom of the Major League in the Covid Cup: they have the highest income inequality, the lowest life expectancy, and most of the worst life-outcome statistics in the Major League of Nations.
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