MANN: American Exceptionalism Does Not End with COVID-19

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Wednesday, May 6, 2020


The Atlantic recently published an op-ed calling America a “failed state.” The author argued that America has rescinded its apex status due to the conflicts of the Coronavirus. Did the author previously regard America as the greatest nation on the planet only to be swooned from patriotism by an uncontrollable virus? Doubtful. He is not the only naysayer. More recently, another writer in The Atlantic doubled down, positing that America was still a “slaveholder’s republic” because of the liberty-focused rhetoric of the anti-lockdown Trump supporters. 

America acted too slowly on the Coronavirus but neither party alone bears the blame. President Trump downplayed the early severity of the virus. Mainstream media outlets largely did the same in the virus’s adolescence. Democrats repeatedly blocked early relief bills. Even the World Health Organization is under fire for lax efforts in alarming the world. Even still, countries like South Korea recognized the threat early and are currently leading the world in the reopening process. 

Is South Korea the new America? Is America really the vicious hellscape that The Atlantic would have you believe?

Presently, no. America remains atop the international hierarchy if only because the world is suffering the same crisis. The aforementioned pieces hyper-localize the problem and miss the global nature of this pandemic. Yes, America is experiencing a vast wave of unemployment as is the entirety of the Western World. Sure, the average American is at risk of a deadly virus but so too is the Brit and German. A rising tide lifts all ships. The reverse is also unfortunately true. 

Better yet, America is prevailing over its initial sloth. America out-tests every other nation by leagues. The United States is also the forerunner in the development of faster testing methods through private companies like Abbott Laboratories. Our country also leads vaccine development with names like Moderna and Gilead spearheading immunological progress. The United States may have started from behind, but its efforts down the stretch have made it the preeminent COVID-19 combatting nation. 

But what of China? China has long been touted as the world’s silver-medal superpower. Politico is reporting that the Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda wing has been having a field day with America’s situation. The Chinese social media site, Weibo, has been inundated with posts mocking an American federal government that abandons its citizens. 

The optimistic portrayal of China’s Coronavirus response is simply propaganda. The CCP bureaucrats who laud American deaths as a great victory for the Party still live in a country wrecked by the very virus for which it roots. The origin of the Coronavirus is China. Any rosy picture painted by CCP officials should be taken with mounds of salt as I explain in detail in a former column.

The United States remains the greatest country in the world. We have been on top through The Cold War, 9/11, SARS, and The Great Recession. The Coronavirus will do little to change that. Though it may be edgy to purge patriotism at the first sign of struggle, the fact remains that America will stay the pinnacle of Western freedom and democratic governance when the Coronavirus disappears. 

Tanner is a born-and-raised West Virginian. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics from West Virginia University and currently works as an Actuary. His interests include politics, physical fitness, professional soccer, and corgis.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.


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About Tanner Mann

West Virginia University

Tanner is a born-and-raised West Virginian. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics from West Virginia University and currently works as an Actuary. His interests include politics, physical fitness, professional soccer, and corgis.

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