Military Gets Criticized for COVID-19 Response

From HuffPost: The U.S. Military Hasn’t Faced A Threat Like Coronavirus In A Century.  Troops say commanders aren’t taking the pandemic seriously, and a former Army epidemiologist says the military has “done a poor job” responding to the crisis.

On Thursday, the military newspaper Task & Purpose — which has done excellent work documenting the coronavirus outbreak in the armed forces — obtained an alarming document sent by the Department of the Army at the Pentagon to all U.S. Army commands.

“Mitigation measures taken by the U.S. Army to blunt the spread of COVID-19 have proven insufficient,” the message read. “COVID-19 continues to spread geographically as the number of infected persons continues to rise.”

The document warned additional measures and actions needed to be taken to prevent the virus from spreading further, and instructed rapid response forces at bases in the U.S. and abroad to go into “Health Protection Condition Delta,” the highest level of alert.

The Diva has reported on several dimensions of this crisis and it seems no sector of society has distinguished itself with adequate planning and anticipatory actions.

Business Leaders Focus on Governors

From Politico: Forget Washington — corporate America is focused on governors right now.  An excerpt:

With the Trump administration taking a backseat to state leaders on coronavirus mitigation, companies and trade associations that traditionally rely on relationships with Washington power brokers are instead being forced to reckon with newly emboldened statehouse executives to deal with a fast-evolving commercial crisis.

Public Administration at National Level Is Faulted

From the WashPost: It’s easy to blame Trump for this fiasco. But there’s a much larger story. Some excerpts:

In a searing essay in the Atlantic, Ed Yong writes, “Rudderless, blindsided, lethargic, and uncoordinated, America has mishandled the COVID-19 crisis to a substantially worse degree than what every health expert I’ve spoken with had feared.”

Why did this happen? It’s easy to blame Trump, and the president has been inept from the start. But there is a much larger story behind this fiasco. The United States is paying the price today for decades of defunding government, politicizing independent agencies, fetishizing local control, and demeaning and disparaging government workers and bureaucrats.

In a searing essay in the Atlantic, Ed Yong writes, “Rudderless, blindsided, lethargic, and uncoordinated, America has mishandled the COVID-19 crisis to a substantially worse degree than what every health expert I’ve spoken with had feared.”

Why did this happen? It’s easy to blame Trump, and the president has been inept from the start. But there is a much larger story behind this fiasco. The United States is paying the price today for decades of defunding government, politicizing independent agencies, fetishizing local control, and demeaning and disparaging government workers and bureaucrats.

Confusion About FEMA’s Role

From CNN: Confusion and frustration still reign a week after FEMA takes over coronavirus response

A week after the government’s principal emergency response agency took the lead on the growing coronavirus pandemic, officials have been trying to catch up, hoping to streamline communication and sort out distribution to get necessary equipment to states pleading for help.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, which falls under the Department of Homeland Security, is deploying its extensive experience in disaster response to coordinate the federal response. In doing so, the agency has come under mounting pressure to create an organized and efficient process, and get states and hospitals the medical supplies they need. Internally, that’s also led to confusion and irritation as FEMA tries to take the leading position.

Multiple sources said that there was frustration among employees within the agency over being brought into the coronavirus response too late, coupled with fear that FEMA would ultimately take the blame for the bungled response.
“Of course, there’s confusion. I mean, Jesus,” a FEMA employee said.