Editorial: US vs Other Countries COVID-19 Response


Rachel Thomas, Junior Co-Editor-in-Chief

What initially seemed to many as a distant threat has now become a global pandemic. Covid-19 has rapidly taken over almost every country, oblivious to the borders between each. During this time, people look to their leaders for hope and stability. Some world leaders have acted in such a manner, while others have instead brought more chaos upon their country. Sadly, the United States is among the latter group. 

The United States and South Korea reported their first case of Covid-19 on the same day. South Korea quickly raised the strictness of their policies, while the US continued to take the matter lightly. As a result, South Korea was able to prevent thousands of deaths which the US could not. Policies such as monitoring quarantined patients on a smartphone app and greatly enforced social distancing practices were implemented in South Korea. In addition to the country’s effective policies, tests were widely available for all people with drive-thru clinics offered to reduce the number of people in the hospital.

Despite being eighty-one miles from where Covid-19 originated, Taiwan defied the odds and has become another country with one of the best responses to the outbreak. The country quickly implemented over a hundred new safety protocols including extensive screening, establishing a Central Epidemic Command Center and banning the export of masks. 

Germany was also quick and efficient in their response to the Covid-19 outbreak, significantly lowering their fatality rate despite being hit hard by the virus. As soon as the outbreak began, the country quickly came up with a test and found many cases before they became fatal. Germany’s tests were also free, an advantage that allowed many more people to get themselves checked before spreading the virus to someone else. 

According to a Coronavirus map by the New York Times, per 100,000 people there are currently around 20.9 cases in South Korea, 1.8 cases in Taiwan, and 195 cases in Germany. 

There are over 1,000,000 cases in the United States. This is around 345 people per 100,000. 

The reason for such an immense number of cases stems from not enough affordable tests, a scattered government and much more lenient policies than other nations.

Even though President Donald Trump has said that the US was the “most prepared country in the world” there are limited hospital beds, tests and affordable care. Refrigerator trucks are now being turned into makeshift morgues because of the lack of space in New York City hospitals.

Despite having the most cases in the world, the US also continues to have the most lenient policies. Still, people are actually protesting that America’s policies are too strict. However, the majority of the blame for such a delayed and chaotic response to the pandemic is owed to the current leadership of the United States.

While leaders such as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada were swift and careful to double check their facts with health organizations before informing Canadians about the crisis at hand, Trump suggested at a press briefing that putting disinfectant in one’s system could possibly be a treatment for Covid-19, without checking with health officials first.


In the UK, Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty is a prominent figure during this time, working with the government and giving the people the facts they need to know. Meanwhile, Trump declared during a briefing that the World Health Organization (WHO) had mishandled the virus and that his administration was going to stop funding the organization, only to deny the claim minutes later. 

It is during crises like these that leaders must come through for their people. These are the tough situations that reflect the true strength and unity of a nation. The United States has proven to be low on this scale, as a disparity between official health organizations and the government instills confusion and panic throughout the country. This is not the time to deny the facts and please the people by downplaying the severity of Covid-19. This is not the time for political parties to attack each other. This is not the time for people to think only about their own needs. People are dying every day because of the decisions this country makes. It is crucial that the nation be united and not let Covid-19 tear it apart.