America’s Response to COVID

By Ellie Ramsing, Reporter

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, countries across the globe have been put to the test. We saw how powerful and fatal this virus can really be when it wrecked the entirety of Italy in two short weeks. 

Experts have been warning countries from the moment the first case was found outside of China to be prepared for the worst, but some governments didn’t take this message to heart. Was the United States underprepared and caught underestimating the effect of COVID?

When the first case of a “pneumonia of unknown cause” was reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) on December 31, 2019 few anticipated the widespread pandemonium it would cause in the coming months. The WHO began to investigate the virus and attempted to prepare the Wuhan province for an outbreak. A mere month later, WHO declared the outbreak to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. The virus, named COVID-19 on February 11, was now a top concern internationally. 

The United Nations (UN) and the WHO have been working on slowing the outbreak since day one and the UN has formed a COVID task force and prepared funding for poorer countries to be able to combat the virus. 

The first case in the US was detected on January 22 according to the CDC. Since then the number of cases has grown at an exponential rate. To date there are more than 210,000 confirmed cases in the U.S. 

According to numerous articles from CNN, The Washington Post, and The New York Times, President Trump “consistently minimized the risk the coronavirus posed to the country.” Last Monday was the first time that Trump acknowledged that the situation was “bad” and that the country did not “…have it totally under control” as he said in a January CNBC interview and again in a statement to reporters in late February. 

At briefing after briefing, Trump continued to downplay the potential effects of the virus. Upon the pandemic declaration from the WHO and UN Trump said he “felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic.” 

Even without Trump’s guidance states began to shut down schools and non essential businesses to prevent the spread of COVID. Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear has been having a daily briefing to keep Kentuckians in the know. He covers the number of new cases, measures being taken to prevent the spread, new facts from experts, and positive callouts of people’s social distancing and those taking the necessary measures to keep themselves and loved ones safe.  

In the midst of the pandemic when we are being forced to distance ourselves from one another the community has been working on coming together and uniting against a common enemy. The first thing that everyone has been able to agree on in years is that we need to beat Corona and that the only way we can do that is by working together.