South Korea as a Baseline for the U.S.: The Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations

Or ‘nuking the goalposts’ if you prefer. After yesterday’s daily attempt by Il Trumpe to hide the greatest dereliction of duty by a president* in my lifetime (for perspective, I’m not young, and there have been some real doozies during that time), the Trump administration is now hoping that ‘only’ between 100,000 to 240,000 Americans will die from COVID-19.

During yesterday’s pathetic spectacle of national humiliation, he kept referring to the one to two million who could die if we do nothing. That’s not moving the goalposts, that’s nuking them.

The standard should be South Korea. It’s a technologically sophisticated nation of 50 million people that recorded it’s first COVID-19 infection on the same day the U.S. did. So the baseline isn’t the one to two million that would die if we did nothing, it’s multiplying South Korea’s COVID-19 infections and deaths by 6.5.

For anyone tempted to engage in armchair Orientalism, and do the South Korea Confucious argle bargle, they have brawls on the floor of their legislature. This isn’t a nebulous cultural difference we could not overcome. Our failure isn’t due to American Exceptionalism, it’s a result of presidential ineptitude.

By the way, as of yesterday, South Korea had COVID-19-related 162 deaths. Scaled to the U.S. population, that would be 1,053 deaths. The U.S. currently has had 3,789 COVID-19-related deaths, with no sign of abatement anytime soon.

Impeach him. Impeach him now. Our lives depend on it.

*If we’re going to militarize a civilian office, then dereliction of duty is an appropriate phrase.

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1 Response to South Korea as a Baseline for the U.S.: The Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations

  1. ElHongo says:

    South Korea is a good model for the US, or any Western country. Norway and Iceland (and anyone else who tried it) found the South Korean paradigm of aggressive and proactive testing to break chains of transmission worthwhile; by comparison, Germany tests mostly to confirm that the chain’s penultimate link is, in fact, infected, and hence their nominally immense testing capacity has failed to contain their outbreak.

    There is, however, one country which outperforms the entire rest of the world, despite being essentially right next to the eye of the pandemic but as they are dirty socialists – shockingly, even socialists who permit a small-business market economy and have a habit of defying expectations stereotypes – we don’t see many reports in Western media:
    https://ideas.repec.org/p/osf/socarx/cfw8x.html

    Japan, by contrast, is touted by many, but AFAICT their handling has been lukewarm and they were mainly lucky by being not just politically but also – unlike Taiwan, which also does quite well so far – economically inimical to the PRC. Japan was hit by a steady trickle of cases, not by one fell swoop like the W European countries, but in and by itself Japan does not seem to perform better than, say, South Africa, i.e. not all too bad but nothing to write home about much either.

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