(CNN)There is no plan.
As the US plunges into an ever deeper coronavirus morass, setting record new infection rates and the death curve begins to rise again, there’s no prospect of the nightmare ending for months.
Delusion dominates an administration that perversely claims the United States is the world leader in beating this modern day plague. There are only contradictions, obfuscations and confusion from the federal officials who ought to be charting a national course.
The massive integrated testing and tracing effort that could highlight and isolate infection epicenters doesn’t exist. Attempts to reopen schools in a few weeks are already descending into farce amid conflicting messages from Washington.
Amid all of this, the coronavirus task force does not hold daily briefings, and when it does, they are an exercise in dodging difficult questions and self-congratulation.
Months into the worst domestic crisis since World War II, there is no sense that a fractured country is pulling together to confront a common enemy. People are still arguing about wearing masks — a tiny infringement of personal freedoms that represents one of the few hopes of easing the contagion. The one federal official who does seem to have answers, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has been banished to the podcast circuit by President Donald Trump, who was on Fox News Thursday night boasting about acing a cognitive test as the US hit another daily record of infections — over 60,000 — on a day on which more than 900 new deaths were reported.
It’s unimaginable that any other modern President would have handled things this way. Most would have thrown every federal government dollar, resource and expert at it. But Trump appears to believe his reelection relies on creating an alternative reality in which tens of thousands of Americans — now mostly in states where he is overwhelmingly popular — are not being infected rather than actually beating back the pandemic.