Letter: Not leading, misleading
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Letter: Not leading, misleading

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The COVID-19 death toll has passed 100,000, with no sign of slackening.

With 4% of the world's population, we have suffered 28.5% of worldwide deaths — seven times worse than the average. Our per capita death rate (1/3,307) is 58 times worse than South Korea (1/191,953), which suffered its first death when we did. We are over 100 times worse than poverty-stricken Haiti.

President Trump falsely equated our death rate to Germany's, which is one-third ours. Confronted with that fact, he callously equivocated, claiming we should ignore the 34,363 dead from New York and New Jersey, like some statistical abnormality, but not Germany's similar hotspots.

In fact, only seven countries have worse death rates, and we are gaining on them all.

An objective, fact-based study by Columbia University showed that 83% of our deaths would have been avoided by a prompt nationwide response, like that of South Korea and other nations with vastly lower death rates.

However, Trump instead ignored all warnings and trivialized the threat. His late and ineffectual "China travel ban" was destined to fail, as the World Health Organization warned. Only after the stock market tanked did he declare a national emergency and grandly proclaim himself a "wartime president."

Even then he flatly disclaimed any responsibility and foisted the burden upon the states — the equivalent of Franklin Delano Roosevelt condemning Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor and then telling Hawaii to fight alone.

Trump is not leading; he is misleading.

Tom Walsh

LeClaire

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