The already prevalent wealth disparity in the United States does not excuse President Trump from responsibility. In fact, according to Dissent Magazine, 2018 saw the deepest wealth gap since 1967. Dissent believes one of the myriad ways President Trump contributes to this inequality is by silencing unions and doubling down on workers’ strikes demanding livable wages. The infamous 2017 tax cut needed to “generate a 6.7 percent increase in gross domestic product” and unfortunately made it a meager 0.3 percent.
According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, poverty is not the only factor at play, putting a high number of Americans at risk. Racism and xenophobia, which are prevalent in the United States, interact with limited financial resources to create a dangerous environment for citizens even when there is not a pandemic. The Trump administration has created such obstacles for marginalized populations to overcome, building on the already established inequality. Edith Bracho-Sanchez, a pediatrician at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, notes that so many of her patients are already overwhelmed with stress, managing a long and complex immigration system, and finding a way to make a living wage. Philip Alberti, PhD, explains that prolonged stress causes significant health complications. He already saw these effects in marginalized populations, but COVID-19 has provided a new ground for ignorance, xenophobic behavior, and racism, which President Trump is doing little to ease. Very recently, President Trump called COVID-19 the “kung flu” at his Tulsa rally.
If the economic disparity in the United States is one of the leading factor of COVID-19 fatalities, Pewre Research studies claim that only about 54% of the population would say President Trump is doing a poor to fair job of protecting lower income families. Far less think Trump is actually delivering useful information to the population, most of his discourse leading people astray. Almost two-thirds of the country believe his reaction to the pandemic was far “too slow” and that the United States lost valuable time in preparing their imbalanced nation for what lies ahead.
While economic disparity is one of the dangers the United States faces during this pandemic, improper leadership and pervasive xenophobia and racism create a lethal environment for the virus to prosper.