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In the early days of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, the Trump administration and right-wing commentators were only too keen to condemn this Chinese government secrecy to explain about the epidemic and to be immune to such gross cover-ups. “Citizens of Democratic Nations, ”wrote one observer End of February Atlantic story“Can reasonably expect their governments to be more open and accountable.”
It is now known that the government has failed to test Americans on a large scale and in a timely manner to ensure that the spread of the virus is practically invisible to us. Less well known are all other methods the government has attempted and may continue to attempt to massage the data to obscure the reality of the US coronavirus pandemic.
Infections are generally understood as quantifiable biological phenomena that reflect certain brutal facts. Either the test was done or not; either the result was positive or not; The victim either lives or not. A consensus has emerged that these key facts will be critical to the political epidemic after the epidemic. Trump suggested this in his recent announcement that a The number of 100,000 deaths would be proof of its success;; Democratic candidate Joe Biden recognized the inevitable determination of the facts of the epidemic and noted that “The evidence, you know, will be in the pudding. “But the long history of secret contagion – and the ability to manipulate data that the Trump administration is already using – suggests otherwise.
Consider the test fiasco. The administration not only botched the introduction of virus tests, it was also effective for a certain time extinguished the data that may have tracked this error from the official record.
The problem started earlier this month. As soon as it became clear that the tests had started embarrassingly slow and confused, the government tried to wash their hands to compile the total number of Americans tested. On March 2, the Centers for Disease Control cut out information about the number of people tested on their website. “All of a sudden,” said Wisconsin representative Mark Pocan to CNN, “these statistics have disappeared.” When Pocan complained to the CDC, he was told the agency would “Trying” to collect and “possibly” share the status data public.