The second is that no one knows how many more lives would be lost before the pandemic comes to an end.The desperate toll passed into six figures on Wednesday afternoon: 100,000 victims, who were living Americans several months ago, when the viciously infectious virus made landfall.
The virus has been disproportionately infecting communities of color. Black Americans represent 13.4% of the American population, according to the US Census Bureau, but counties with higher black populations accounted for more than half of all Covid-19 cases and almost 60% of deaths as of mid-April, more than 30 million Americans whose livelihoods disappeared in the most dramatic collapse in American economic history.
Often, Trump has appeared far more concerned about how the crisis affected his own political prospects than those who died.
The verdict on Trump’s failure to stand up a rapid and nationwide coronavirus testing effort and his frequent and premature declarations of victory would not be so harsh had he taken the obvious approach of a pandemic more seriously.
In years to come, Trump’s denial in the early weeks will likely come to be seen as one of the most damaging passages of the crisis. It contributed to the disastrous deficit the US later experienced in developing a testing infrastructure — already hobbled by a failed CDC diagnostic kit — and the shortages of protective gear for emergency responders and doctors and nurses.