America was unprepared for a major crisis. Again. (Dan Balz, Washington Post)
When the public looked to government for help, government sometimes looked helpless or frozen or contradictory — and not for the first time.
The country and its leaders were caught off guard when terrorists on hijacked airplanes attacked the homeland on Sept. 11, 2001. The financial crisis of 2008, which turned into a deep recession, forced drastic, unprecedented action by a government struggling to keep pace with the economic wreckage. The devastation from Hurricane Andrew in Florida in 1992 and Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005 exposed serious gaps in the government’s disaster response and emergency management systems.
“We always wait for the crisis to happen,” said Leon Panetta, who served in government as secretary of defense, director of the CIA, White House chief of staff, director of the Office of Management and Budget and a member of the House. “I know the human failings we’re dealing with, but the responsibility of people elected to these jobs is to make sure we are not caught unawares.”
Economist Stephen Moore warned that the US is barrelling headlong toward a Great Depression if the economy isn’t revived by next month because of the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
“At some point soon, we’re going to have to make some real decisions about what kind of a calamity we are causing through the lock-down of our economy. I’m not saying we should be inattentive to the public health concern…But at some point, we have to worry about what we’re doing to our society, and what kind of economy we’re going to have after this is all over,” Moore, who has advised President Trump on the economy, told host John Catsimatidis on his AM-970 radio show “The Cats Roundtable” in an interview that aired Sunday.
“If we go much past May 1, we are facing a potential Great Depression scenario,” Moore said.
At a virtual fundraiser Wednesday night, Joe Biden laughed off the possibility of appealing to President Trump's base -- and then directly attacked some Trump voters, drawing comparisons from journalists and the Trump campaign to Hillary Clinton's infamous "basket of deplorables" moment during the 2016 campaign.
Seven weeks after its first recorded coronavirus case, New York has become the global center of the pandemic. In New York City, a staggering 1 in 800 residents has died from the disease, which continues to kill hundreds of New Yorkers a day.
New York City is sick, and journalists, pundits, and politicians have made a diagnosis: The city’s exceptional density is the problem. That is certainly the self-serving conclusion of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. It’s a convenient bit of fatalism for a man presiding over a catastrophe.
...Tragically, what seems to have put New York on such a different trajectory from San Francisco was that its leaders were so late to shut down public life.