Changing our mental set.
It shouldn’t be happening this way. The US already had crisis teams built by earlier administrations – but one of Trump’s first decisions was to close them down. When the pandemic erupted the White House had no prepared leadership. Instead, as you would expect, it has been partly in denial, partly casting around for direction.
Now, frightened by its self created unpreparedness it is playing catch up in a perilous game of blind man’s bluff.
But here’s the thing, we need to change our mental set. We are not necessarily the best in the world at everything, even our economy may not be the most affluent – we are in fact 11th alongside the Netherlands! We are not an island either – we are part of a complex and interconnected world.
The pandemic is a global phenomenon, as are the other real threats we face of religious warfare, poverty, health care as well as climate change, population growth and migration. We should be prepared for each not in isolation but in close harmony with all other nations around the world. The corona pandemic is an opportunity to learn rapidly from each other, to help each other and to build on each other’s shoulders. Alas we are happier criticizing other nations – our great cities and states are going it alone.
Changing one’s mental set is hard to do. It is not helped in this case by the mistrust we have assiduously cultivated with our allies, neighbors, and trading partners. The US looks like a massive stranded cruise liner, constantly in sight, getting nowhere and unable to test more than a fraction of its people because it is unprepared and has no kit. This precarious situation will continue to feed upon itself. Expect more breakaway actions by individual states and cities – expect things to get much worse before they get any better.
Have a good day, James.