Test-Trace-Quarantine. Countries that follow TTQ have lower death counts from Covid-19 – and their societies and economies have stayed open. For a number of reasons – none of them good, and some of them malevolent – neither the United States nor Great Britain have followed this proven method of tackling the pandemic. As a result, thousands upon thousands of their people are needlessly dying while their economies have cratered, leaving millions of people in dire straits even as their respective governments, especially the US, disgorge vast mountains of public money to protect the private fortunes of elites and corporations. Lockdown without mass testing will not quell the virus; “re-opening” without mass testing will lead swiftly to further disaster, to second and third waves that, absent a vaccine, could be equal to or worse than this initial tsunami. 

The leaders of many nations recognize these incontrovertible facts, and are acting accordingly. But the US and UK — two nations imbued, indeed intoxicated with the notion of their absolute uniqueness and superiority to all others – are acting as if they can magic away the science of the pandemic with the voodoo of their exceptionalism. Addled by this horrifically false notion, they have stubbornly, stupidly and with criminal disregard adopted strategies that have, in the end, destroyed the economies they sought to “save” with their late and lackadaisical approach. They refuse even now to expend the necessary resources to implement TTQ on anything remotely approaching an effective scale. 

The Trump and Johnson governments have simply surrendered to the virus. Both leaders early on expressed their desire to see it “wash over” the populace, to “take it on the chin”; both leaders were told in stark terms that this would lead to mass death on a monstrous scale; both were happy to let that happen. Neither of them made any moves to implement a TTQ approach, despite having months to prepare for the pandemic wave to hit them. Political pressure forced both of them to take, very reluctantly, the half-measure of lockdown without TTQ. They realized that they could not be seen to have surrendered to the virus, although, by only taking half-measures (or less), they have merely masked their surrender, and the heartlessness behind it.

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