What grade should America get for its response to Covid-19?

Actually, it’s not America that should receive a grade for the response to Covid-19. It’s Trump, of course, whose response to this threat has been pathetic and a catastrophe.

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When I think about America’s performance in responding to this deadly virus that is rapidly escalating across this country three words come to mind. They are 1. leadership, 2. coordination, and 3. discipline.

These are the key factors that managers commonly use in extremely difficult situations to come up with solutions for problems. If they had been used by this president right from the inception of this Coronavirus, this country would not be mired down in this terrible crisis and would be well on the way to ending this threat to America. But, as we know, these factors were just ignored by him, and many thousands of Americans are paying a huge price as a result. 

So let’s discuss each of these factors and why they are so important to successful management.

Leadership: what could be more important than strong leadership in very difficult, dire situations?

Trump should be using the presidential bully pulpit to reach out to the American people, truthfully explaining what is happening, and giving them hope. But he has done little to nothing and now is just washing his hands of the matter and concentrating on his election campaign. His attitude could best be described as nonchalant.

Trump has no idea of what real leaders do in these situations and about the only kind of leadership he is capable of doing is leading a large group of lemmings, aka, Republicans, over the cliff, i.e., taking them down with him in the upcoming election. 

At the same time that this virus is escalating, Trump is trying to discredit Dr. Fauci, undermining him and his fellow scientists who are trying hard to bring it under control. He is an obstructionist and an impediment when he should be working closely with all these scientists to find ways to end this crisis.

I was wondering when Trump would launch an attack on Doctor Fauci, the world-renowned immunologist who is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. In my opinion, if Dr. Fauci had been in charge, America would not have this massive problem. He would have provided excellent leadership, coordination, and would have demanded that Americans act in a disciplined manner.

What Dr. Fauci and his fellow scientists should do, since Trump is tossing them under the bus, is to take charge of the response efforts. They should form a team, with Fauci in charge, and then make agreements with CNN and MSNBC, to appear on TV regularly with progress reports. 

By doing t\his Fauci would go around the restrictions that Trump has put on him, and he would be free to tell Americans the truth about what is really happening. He can give Trump a copy of the progress reports and tell him what the government needs to do. But, nothing more.

Governors DeSantis of Florida and Mike DeWine of Ohio made some very serious mistakes in managing their responses. Kemp of Georgia has refused to mandate the use of masks even when the cases of the virus in his state are spiking. On the other hand, Governors Cuomo of New York, Murphy of New Jersey and Lamont of Connecticut did admirably.

Congress should be working long hours to create legislation that would help in these efforts, both with the virus problem and the faltering economy. But a large part of them are asleep, they just don’t give a damn, and all they do is to constantly kiss up to their Dear Leader. I’m talking, of course, about Republicans, the “do-nothings.”

It’s unbelievable how very undisciplined so very many Americans are. Far too many are refusing to wear masks and even trying to convince others that they need not do so. Going to beaches, filling up bars, and all kinds of other reckless behavior. Here’s where Trump should be a role model, but he wants no part of it.

Coordination: when a manager in a business is placed in charge of the development of a new product his effectiveness and ultimate success depends a great deal on how well he coordinates the efforts of his entire team. 

If there was a great leader in the White House the governors of the states would look to him for leadership. But with Trump at the helm, they just try to ignore him and do what they think is best.

Trump should have used the Defense Production Act much more to force various manufacturers to increase the production of critical equipment and medical supplies desperately needed by hospitals. For some unknown reason that just didn’t happen. Now we’re hearing that there are shortages popping up at medical facilities around America. When is Trump going to wake up?

So, we can’t say much more about coordination because there simply is none.

Discipline: a common definition of discipline is; “the quality of being able to behave and work in a controlled way which involves obeying particular rules or standards.”

Discipline in many parts of this country during this pandemic has been just plain awful. We’ve seen many millions of Americans act in a very undisciplined, irresponsible manner by refusing to wear masks or practice social distancing, doing such reckless things as holding huge “pandemic parties.”

This pandemic has proven that these particular Americans probably are the most undisciplined people in the 32 developed nations of the world. 

Once again I’ll bring up the fact that America has 4% of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s cases of this virus. That imbalance is incomprehensible and that should tell us that something must be very wrong with how this situation was managed. Well, the manager has been Donald J. Trump and that says it all. When we think about Trump and how he has handled this response we don’t think about management but, rather total mismanagement.

Actually, it’s not America that should receive a grade for the response to Covid-19. It’s Trump, of course, whose response to this threat has been pathetic and a catastrophe. He, together with the millions of undisciplined, irresponsible Americans who refused to follow the CDC guideline, deserve no more than an F minus.

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