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- 261 coronavirus deaths and 25,167 new cases recorded yesterday
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Ed Pilkington has been reporting in New York for us on some alarming news about the coronavirus outbreak in the US – that the Covid-19 death rate among African Americans and Latinos is rising sharply.
New figures compiled by the Color of Coronavirus project shared with the Guardian show that both total numbers of deaths and per capita death rates have increased dramatically in August for black and brown Americans. Though fatalities have also increased for white Americans, the impact on this group has been notably less severe.
That striking disparity underlines a major failing at the heart of the US response to Covid. It has been known now for several months that the virus is extracting an especially punishing toll among communities of color, yet federal and state governments have not taken steps effectively to ameliorate the disaster.
If you missed it, the Washington Post’s editorial board published an excoriating op-ed about the president yesterday, headed “Four more years of Trump’s contempt for competence would be devastating”.
The so-called adults in the room in the early days of this term have left and written books about how unpleasant it was to be in that room. Often it didn’t matter anyway, because this president rarely listens and almost never reads. He has been called “unbriefable.” Only once or twice a week does he bother to listen to the intelligence briefings other presidents received daily, and even then he reportedly interrupts with kooky conspiracy theories, or spends his time marveling over a miniature weapon constructed as a visual aid to hold his wayward attention. He takes the advice not of the most qualified, or even most persuasive, person around him but of the person who manages to sneak in the last word.
If we don’t gather information, we cannot see the depth of Mr. Trump’s failures. Another term could allow Mr. Trump to complete the demoralization, politicization and destruction of a workforce that was once the envy of the world: the American civil service, health service, Foreign Service and uniformed military. In everything from consumer safety to air quality to life expectancy, the results would be catastrophic. But there would be nobody left to measure them.