Hindsight is 20/20


Carter Gramiak, Columnist

We are living in unprecedented times right now. The world has not seen a pandemic like COVID-19 in over 100 years, and it is having drastic effects on almost all facets of society. The unemployment rate is the highest it’s been in over 50 years, with over 22 million people applying for unemployment in March alone. Grocery stores have lines wrapped around them with people waiting to go inside, and I don’t know about you, but I haven’t seen a roll of toilet paper in a store in more than a month. Real-estate sales have slowed dramatically, cars are sitting at dealers for very long periods of time, and restaurants have been forced to shut down. No industry has been left unscathed by this virus. And, above all else, people are dying in the thousands across the United States and the world, with no definitive end in sight. 

President Trump wants you to forget about all of this. After golfing and campaigning throughout the month of February, he reacted slowly, and at first told the American people that the virus is “going to disappear. One day, it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.” By the time he realized it wasn’t just going to pass (like every other country already had), his reaction was too little, too late. Today, while praising his inadequate response, he attempts to pass the blame to just about anyone he can. However, at the end of the day, there’s only one person at fault: President Trump.

March 13th: an infamous day. In the minds of many, including myself, it’s the day that the CoronaVirus became a real and upsetting problem. A lot happened that day, but the main thing that President Trump wants you to remember is that he shut down all travel to Europe. This sounds like a great thing, right? And truly, it was. But what President Trump and his administration want you to forget about is the complete and total lack of action in the months before. Reportedly, the Trump administration had been receiving intelligence reports about a new virus that was causing problems in China since the end of 2019. The United States government did nothing. 

In January, the virus was spread all over news headlines across the country, and the first reported case of COVID-19 was reported in Washington state. By the end of the month, the United States government closed travel between the US and China; but 40,000 people successfully traveled between the two countries after this ban, rendering it mostly ineffective. In the month of February, the president spent his days discrediting claims of the virus’s severity, held campaign rallies, and golfed. Meanwhile, in Italy and other European countries began to fall apart when faced with COVID-19. One would think that such a virus would concern a government and make them think about how to handle the issue. As late as March 10th, President Trump was quoted as saying: “This was unexpected. … And it hit the world. And we’re prepared, and we’re doing a great job with it. And it will go away. Just stay calm. It will go away.” Well, Mr. President, it didn’t go away.

As the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20. In 2020, for the American people, this is very true. As early as New Year’s Day, it is reported that there were many cases of the virus in major cities such as New York, Boston, and Los Angeles. The United States didn’t take any action to protect the American people until over 2 months later. This inaction has proved to be deadly, and people’s lives have been changed forever. Even now, as COVID-19 cases continue to steadily rise, the President has tweeted about reopening schools, reopening churches, and essentially recommended that people ignore various Governor’s policies. On May 23rd, a day where over 1,000 people died as a result of the virus,  the president was seen golfing on one of his golf courses. The President is on record saying “I take no responsibility.” Well, Mr. President, you have nobody to blame but yourself.