Letter to the Editor

Not prepared for Covid-19

On Jan. 22, there was one COVID-19 case in the USA. Come March 1, there were 64 of them. As I write this letter on the morning of Monday, March 30 there are 142,000.

I am angry.

I am angry because this country had years of warnings that we needed to prepare for a pandemic. By 2016, this country had a set of contingency plans for this type of a situation, but no one bothered to look at them as we drifted into our present problem.

I am angry because little or nothing was done in January and February when we still had time to address this gathering tempest. During these months our country's intelligence services said on more than one occasion that we were facing a problem growing more serious every day. But as late as February 29, the President said everything was under control.

I am angry because we still have not taken all the steps necessary to address this problem on a national basis. We have a shortage of personal protective equipment for our health care providers. We have a shortage of ventilators needed to save the lives of people with this virus. And we need more room to house the thousands of people who need medical care for this disease. To solve problems of this magnitude, we need hands-on leadership from our president. Instead he seems to lack a full grasp of the problem and the leadership needed to solve it.

We are in trouble.

JOHN PIEPHO, Cape Girardeau