Exactly one month ago today, Trump Vice President Mike Pence wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal titled "There Isn't a Coronavirus 'Second Wave.'" Opined Pence, one month ago: "The media has tried to scare the American people every step of the way, and these grim predictions of a second wave are no different. The truth is, whatever the media says, our whole-of-America approach has been a success."
Shall we take a quick peek back and see what the head of the White House's coronavirus "task force" was telling Americans as he excoriated the press for reporting expert warnings that things were about to get worse?
"[I]n the six states that have reached more than 1,000 new cases a day, increased testing has allowed public health officials to identify most of the outbreaks in particular settings—prisons, nursing homes and meatpacking facilities—and contain them."
"Lost in the coverage is the fact that today less than 6% of Americans tested each week are found to have the virus."
In Arizona, Florida, Texas, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and Nevada over 15% of those tested are now found to have the virus—a percentage high enough to suggest that testing is once again being focused on the most obviously sick patients.
There are now seventeen states recording more than 1,000 new cases per day, with three reporting roughly 10,000 new cases per day. Eighteen states are now considered to have "uncontrolled" virus spread. In these states, community spread may render case-by-case contact tracing difficult or even impossible.
"Cases have stabilized over the past two weeks, with the daily average case rate across the U.S. dropping to 20,000—down from 30,000 in April and 25,000 in May."
There are now over 70,000 new cases per day.
"We’ve expanded testing across the board."
The Trump administration, after some inventive flailing by Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, gave up and washed its hands of any attempt to establish a nationwide testing plan, leaving it to the states to manage in whatever way they can best muster.
"[W]e are well on our way to having a viable vaccine by the fall."
There remains absolutely no evidence that, even if a vaccine currently in development proved viable, it could be manufactured in sufficient quantity to be available for widespread use "by the fall."
"[A]ll 50 states have begun to reopen in a safe and responsible manner."
And now they're closing down again, as predicted by the experts who warned them not to.
Let's go back to where we began, with Pence's ultimate conclusion after dispensing all this other wisdom in our general directions: "The media has tried to scare the American people every step of the way, and these grim predictions of a second wave are no different. The truth is, whatever the media says, our whole-of-America approach has been a success."
Mike Pence is, ostensibly, the person most "in charge" of this nation's pandemic response efforts. Donald Trump told us to wish him "luck," upon ordering him to take over the pandemic task force. Evidently, he has failed. Perhaps he should turn the effort over to someone who is not primarily focused on kissing Donald Trump's behind and lying to the American people in whatever way best inoculates Dear Leader from the consequences of his sociopathic indifference. Perhaps he needs, at the least, some explanation for the new crisis upon us that is not malevolent and incompetent blubbering about "the media" inventing a wave of infections and deaths that every expert saw coming, at every point along the way, after White House demands that pandemic lockdowns be lifted in an attempt to ignore the virus into submission.