The Honey Badger virus refuses to give up the fight. Global cases have crossed the 8 million mark, and eighteen US states have reported a rise in new infections this week vs last. China, too, is grappling to suppress a new outbreak, this time in the capital city of Beijing. We do see, though, plenty of examples where covid-19 has been successfully suppressed or eradicated by good anti-contagion practices including masks, social distancing, handwashing/hygiene, and other measures.
So why was the US government so intent back in February and March on convincing us that “masks don’t work” and urging us not to wear them? Presidential pandemic task force medical chief Dr. Anthony Fauci is twisting history, claiming that they didn’t want to direct needed PPE away from medical workers. But that’s not the full story. The truth is, the US government badly under-invested in maintaining the national stockpile of PPE for such a pandemic, which was pretty much depleted by the end of March. And they didn’t want us to know that. So that tried to convince us that masks don’t work.
While they obviously should have funded adequate preparation, the government could have instead been honest with us from the get go and encouraged a national citizen mask-making brigade, akin to the civilian war efforts of WW2. We could have much better protected ourselves AND reduced demand for the higher-standard PPE that the hospitals needed.
It didn’t have to be this way…