A man wearing a face mask is seen on a street in Washington, D.C., the United States, on Dec. 16, 2022. (Photo by Ting Shen/Xinhua)
The United States, once the paragon of can-do pragmatism, fell down on the job in confronting the crisis. The pandemic revealed a collective national incompetence in government.
NEW YORK, April 26 (Xinhua) -- Looking back at the U.S. response to the pandemic, many setbacks and mistakes are well-known, but a closer examination by a team of seasoned experts has brought to the surface a profoundly unsettling conclusion, reported The Washington Post on Monday.
"The United States, once the paragon of can-do pragmatism, of successful moon shots and biomedical breakthroughs, fell down on the job in confronting the crisis," said the report. "The pandemic, the experts say, revealed 'a collective national incompetence in government'."
This warning came through over and over again in "Lessons from the COVID War: An Investigative Report," a book published on Tuesday by a group of 34 specialists led by Philip Zelikow, the executive director of the 9/11 Commission and a history professor at the University of Virginia. Their verdict: "The leaders of the United States could not apply their country's vast assets effectively enough in practice."
The report "is a compelling, disturbing account. They conclude the pandemic was not an inescapable tragedy. The United States could and should have done better," said The Post.
The United States started out "with more capabilities than any other country in the world," but ended up with 1 million dead. "The COVID war is a story of how our wondrous scientific knowledge has run far, far ahead of the organized human ability to apply that knowledge in practice," it added. ■