Yeah, we’re pretty astonished here as well.

Courtesy of the AP:

With confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. hitting 5 million Sunday, by far the highest of any country, the failure of the most powerful nation in the world to contain the scourge has been met with astonishment and alarm in Europe.

Perhaps nowhere outside the U.S. is America’s bungled virus response viewed with more consternation than in Italy, which was ground zero of Europe’s epidemic. Italians were unprepared when the outbreak exploded in February, and the country still has one of the world’s highest official death tolls at 35,000.

But after a strict nationwide, 10-week lockdown, vigilant tracing of new clusters and general acceptance of mask mandates and social distancing, Italy has become a model of virus containment.

“Don’t they care about their health?” a mask-clad Patrizia Antonini asked about people in the United States as she walked with friends along the banks of Lake Bracciano, north of Rome. “They need to take our precautions. … They need a real lockdown.”

Much of the incredulity in Europe stems from the fact that America had the benefit of time, European experience and medical know-how to treat the virus that the continent itself didn’t have when the first COVID-19 patients started filling intensive care units.

Yet, more than four months into a sustained outbreak, the U.S. reached the 5 million mark, according to the running count kept by Johns Hopkins University. Health officials believe the actual number is perhaps 10 times higher, or closer to 50 million, given testing limitations and the fact that as many as 40% of all those who are infected have no symptoms.

“We Italians always saw America as a model,” said Massimo Franco, a columnist with daily Corriere della Sera. “But with this virus we’ve discovered a country that is very fragile, with bad infrastructure and a public health system that is nonexistent.”

You know what is really frustrating for me is that it did not have to be anywhere near this bad.

I read this Atlantic article with former National Security Adviser Susan Rice (Link) in which she talks about her fears of what a pandemic might do the country during the Obama presidency, which led her helping to create the pandemic-preparedness office that Trump famously dismantled after taking office. 

We were prepared right up until Trump sabotaged all of our defenses. 

So yes the rest of the world has every right to look at us with shock and contempt.

And that should fire all of us up to vote for a president who will not allow America to remain the third world shithole country that it has become under GOP leadership. 

We used to be a source of inspiration, not pity, and we can be that again.