Messy and chaotic practices of democracy in the United States: Tragic mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic

2021-December-9 21:17 By:

On Dec. 5, 2021, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a report on its website titled "The State of Democracy in the United States."

This series of infographics centers on the second section of the text, "Messy and chaotic practices of democracy." This section illustrates that democracy in the US has gone wrong, which is reflected not only in its system design and general structure, but also in the way it is put into practice. The gunshots and farce on Capitol Hill have completely revealed what is underneath the gorgeous appearance of the American-style democracy. The death of Black American George Floyd has laid bare the systemic racism that exists in American society for too long, and spurred a deluge of protests rippling throughout the country and even the whole world.

While the COVID-19 pandemic remains out of control in the US, the issue of mask-wearing and vaccination has triggered further social division and confrontation. Dividends of economic growth are distributed unfairly, and income growth has stalled for most ordinary people for a long period of time. The American-style democracy can hardly uphold public order and ethics, nor advance public well-being to the fullest.

Here are highlights from part three of the text: Tragic mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Messy and chaotic practices of democracy in the United States: Tragic mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic

(3) Tragic mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic

With the best health and medical resources in the world as it claims, the US has been a total mess when it comes to COVID response. It has the world’s highest numbers of infections and deaths.

According to figures released by Johns Hopkins University, as of the end of November 2021, confirmed COVID-19 cases in the US had exceeded 48 million, and the number of deaths had surpassed 770,000, both the highest in the world.

On 8 January this year, 300,777 new confirmed cases were reported, a record single-day increase since the COVID-19 outbreak in the US. On 13 January alone, 4,170 Americans died of COVID-19, far exceeding the death toll of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

At the end of November, the average daily increase of confirmed cases in the US had climbed to over 70,000, and daily death toll to over 700.

One in every 500 Americans have died of COVID-19. Up to now, COVID-19 deaths in the US have surpassed its total death toll from the 1919 Influenza Pandemic, and its combined deaths in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Iraq War and the war in Afghanistan.

If the US had taken a science-based response, a lot more lives could have been saved. The pandemic, as epidemiologist and former head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention William Foege put it, is a “slaughter”.

The pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the US economy. The rate and scale of business shutdown and unemployment in the country are beyond imagination, leaving a large number of Americans jobless. People’s anxiety and sense of powerlessness has been exacerbated by growing factors of social instability.

The COVID Hardship Watch released by the US Center on Budget and Policy Priorities on 29 July 2021 suggests that while there have been improvements over the situation in December 2020, hardship is widespread for Americans in the first half of 2021. Some 20 million adults live in households that have not got enough to eat, 11.40 million adult renters are behind on rent, facing the risk of being evicted.

As indicated in the statistics released by the US Census Bureau, by 5 July 2021, at least one member in 22% of all households with underage dependents had lost their source of income.

US consumer confidence has dropped substantially, and progress in job market recovery has stalled. Institutions such as Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Oxford Economics have significantly revised down growth forecasts for the US economy. At the same time, the pandemic, coupled with three rounds of massive economic stimulus plans, among other factors, has caused port congestion and supply shortages, pushing inflation higher. In October of this year, US CPI surged by 6.2% from a year earlier, marking a year-on-year rise of no less than 5% for six consecutive months, and a record high since 2008.

Editor: JYZ
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