Saturday, September 19, 2020
Home Op-Ed The United States’ Response to the Pandemic

The United States’ Response to the Pandemic

  • Jonathan Martinez ’21

The United States has now surpassed one million confirmed coronavirus cases- as I am writing this, it has 1,064,572 cases and 61,669 deaths and counting. New York alone has more cases than any other country at 306,158 cases with 23,474 deaths. 

Whether or not we should do more testing is a controversial topic in the United States. According to Worldometer, the United States has performed 6.03 million tests, just 18,216 tests per every 1 million people. In addition, many of the test kits have been reported to be inaccurate. Trump and his administration responded late to coronavirus- the first case reported was on January 21st in Washington State, when shelter-in-place has not been nationalized. A poll taken by the Pew Research Center shows that 65% of Americans think Trump reacted too late to the pandemic, meaning that while many agree about the timing of his response, this is a polarizing issue. Trump had claimed that COVID-19 was all under control back then. However, we’ve seen a new surge of cases, and the United States has become the country with the most cases.

To help the American people, Congress passed the $2.2 trillion stimulus package, which would send to every American a check of around $1,200 or more depending on your current living conditions, marriage status, and more. Not all Americans have received the check, in fact, many are waiting for theirs to arrive.  Although people will be receiving money, for a lot of Americans that check will not be enough to even cover their rent, especially in this area where housing is extremely expensive. Trump has also passed a bill known as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to support small businesses that had to temporarily close down due to the pandemic. However, the $349 million dollars of the PPP ran out in a matter of days. Big companies and food chains such as Shake Shack, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, and Potbelly, amongst many others, have all received backlash for asking for small business aid despite having locations across the country, which left little to no aid for small companies. Since then, all three of these food chains have returned the aid. A new small business loan package is in the works in hopes that it can actually reach smaller businesses. The package to help businesses is an amazing idea, as it will help many companies stay safe during their time of closure. However, it would be better to have a package to assure that all companies and businesses, whether big or small, could be offered some aid. 

Whether or not you agree with the president’s or the governors’ efforts regarding the pandemic, now is not the time to be polarized and politically divided. Let’s just follow all the guidelines that are presented to us and hopefully, we can be together soon as one community. I know that many may disagree with social distancing rules, but let’s work together as one to figure what’s best for the country.

Photo contributed by Katie Sandhu ’21 from Unsplash media.

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