America and Americans Are Losing the COVID War
COVID-19 deaths in the United States reached 2,879 on Thursday. To put that American body count in perspective, the figure is more than the number of U.S. military personnel killed at the Battle of Shiloh in 1862 or Pearl Harbor in 1941 or even D-Day in 1944. Tomorrow and probably every day for the rest of December will be the equivalent of September 11, 2001.
For more context, consider that during the Civil War hundreds of thousands of Americans volunteered to save the Union and eradicate slavery, while hundreds of thousands more were conscripted in the first ever U.S. military draft. The Civil War also saw the introduction of the first U.S. income tax. After Pearl Harbor, the top tax rate exceeded 90 percent even as Americans contended with food and gas rationing. While 15 million Americans were in uniform by 1945, at home millions more civilians saved scrap metal, rubber and even cooking grease for the war effort. Such was the price to be paid to preserve freedom then.
So, I can wear a f*cking mask to preserve it now. And so can you. We can stay home, stop unnecessary travel and limit indoor contact to help ourselves, our neighbors and most of all the health care workers now being overwhelmed by 200,000 new cases and 100,000 hospitalizations a day. And we can all press the federal government to hold up its end of the bargain by paying Americans to stay home and keep their businesses afloat until vaccines are broadly available and used.
CDC Director Robert Redfield now estimates that a total of 450,000 Americans will have died from Coronavirus by February 2021. Those deaths exceed the total of U.S. soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen and merchant mariners for the entirety of World War II. We cannot continue this way. As that guy from the Party of Lincoln put it in September 1862:
“The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.”