WASHINGTON - Political polarization and a rejection of science have stymied the United States' ability to control the COVID-19 pandemic that has killed nearly 400,000 Americans, said a New York Times article on Sunday.
"That has been clearest and most damaging at the federal level, where Mr. Trump claimed that the virus would 'disappear,' clashed with his top scientists and, in a pivotal failure, abdicated responsibility for a pandemic that required a national effort to defeat it, handing key decisions over to states under the assumption that they would take on the fight and get the country back to business," said the article named "One Year, 400,000 Coronavirus Deaths: How the US Guaranteed Its Own Failure".
"But governors and local officials who were left in charge of the crisis squandered the little momentum the country had as they sidelined health experts, ignored warnings from their own advisers and, in some cases, stocked their advisory committees with more business representatives than doctors," it said.
The situation has turned dire just as the Trump administration, in its final days, begins to see the fruits of perhaps its biggest coronavirus success, the Operation Warp Speed vaccine program, said the article, pointing out that "But already, a lack of federal coordination in distributing doses has emerged as a troubling roadblock."
The United States now makes up 4 percent of the world's population but accounts for about 20 percent of global deaths, said the article.
The US COVID-19 confirmed cases topped 23.9 million with over 397,000 deaths as of Sunday evening, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.