Reality can be harsh. And always, truthful.
That's why reality is feared by religions and politicians alike. At least, religious believers and politicians who have a vested interest in denying facts because the truth is inconvenient for them.
There's nothing positive that can be said about the COVID crisis here in the United States. According to a story I read in today's newspaper, the United States has 4.3% of the world's population but has suffered 25.5% of the COVID-19 deaths.
Largely because we have a president who is utterly incompetent to manage a Little League team, much less a nation's response to a pandemic. Months ago Trump said that COVID was going to go away on its own. He repeated that lie today.
Fortunately, facts don't lie.
Currently there are more new cases being reported than at the previous height of the pandemic in April. At Trump's urging, states reopened their economies before public health experts said they should. In fact, before White House's own reopening guidelines said they should.
Trump wanted a strong economy ASAP to bolster his reelection chances. However, his poll numbers have been dropping as the number of COVID cases has been increasing.
Americans aren't as dumb as their president. They realize that the COVID crisis in this country has been made much worse by Trump's habitual inability to listen to experts who know more than he does about a subject, and to act in accord with that wise advice.
Here's how the United States compares to the European Union, which has a population roughly comparable to ours.
The United States and the European Union have comparable population sizes, but the trajectories of their COVID-19 outbreaks have been vastly different. Data recently released by the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows that while there are around 4,000 new COVID cases in the EU each day, the United States is now recording over 40,000 new cases of the virus each day.
At least 11 US states broke records for the number of new cases reported over the past week. And while some politicians in the US have ascribed the difference to discrepancies in testing, a close analysis shows that the United States and the EU are conducting roughly the same number of tests per million people. Here's a look at the seven-day rolling average of new COVID cases in the EU and the US since March.
In the European Union science is broadly accepted by national leaders, while the United States suffers under the inept leadership of a president who refuses to wear a mask in public, disparages people who do wear a mask, and said as recently as today that COVID will go away on its own one day.
No, it won't. That's a fact.
COVID-19 is an especially dangerous virus. It is transmitted easily from person to person. It damages many different organs in the human body, not just the lungs. Unlike the flu, a COVID infection can leave a person debilitated for months. Check out this story by Portland's KGW News about a woman who is still suffering from an infection she got sick from on March 15.
I'm not saying that everything is fine here in Oregon, where I live. It isn't. The chart above shows that cases have been increasing since Governor Brown relaxed stay at home orders, allowing businesses to gradually reopen.
But unlike Trump, Brown listens to public health experts. She learns on the job. She changes her mind when fresh facts replace outdated ones. Masks have been advised in Oregon, but not mandatory, in indoor public places until recently (aside from a few counties, including mine, where COVID cases were higher).
Now, though, Governor Brown is requiring the wearing of masks in indoor public places everywhere in Oregon, with some exceptions for children and people unable to wear a mask because of a medical condition. That's leadership, since masks are proven to be effective in slowing the spread of COVID.
Like I said, the only good thing I see coming from the COVID crisis in my country is that Trump finally is being held to account for his failure to acknowledge reality. That's sort of worked for him when the truth of a situation can be disguised by lies. But death and disease don't respond to lies.
So the steadily increasing COVID cases and deaths testify to the ineptness of the Trump administration's response to this crisis. I'm confident that voters will keep that in mind when, hopefully, they kick him out of office in November.