"Facing the Covid-19, the American model has never seemed so fragile"

Huts painted on the ground to keep homeless people safe during the epidemic in a parking lot in Las Vegas on March 30. JOHN LOCHER / AP

" Keep america great " After convincing himself that he had restored his greatness to America, Donald Trump adopted this slogan to seek reelection to the presidency of the United States in November. But in a few weeks, the Covid-19 pandemic has rendered this ambitious promise obsolete. From now on, it is not so much a question of maintaining the so-called "greatness" of the country, but rather of remedying the shortcomings that this crisis is revealing.

No country, starting with France, will escape introspective work on how he anticipated, crossed and overcame this ordeal. But, at a time when the United States is entering the most difficult period in terms of saturation of hospitals, explosion in the number of deaths linked to the virus, coupled with a stratospheric increase in dismissals due to confinement, the American model n has never seemed so fragile.

The fears of a society sometimes say more about its vulnerability than many speeches. In March, 2 million weapons were sold in the United States, double the previous month. This frenzy is fueled by the fear that the pandemic will lead to shortages and overflows. Since Donald Trump decreed that arms dealers are "essential" businesses that can benefit from a waiver of containment, the news related to Covid-19 has fueled local news. In the United States, firearms are seen as the answer to many problems, even though they cause 38,000 deaths each year.

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30 million people have no health coverage

More than weapons, the Americans would especially need a medical cover system worthy of the name. The debate on improving it did not wait for the Covid-19 to open. He was already at the heart of the Democratic primary, before the health crisis overshadowed it. He risks coming back in force during the presidential election.

The United States is the country that spends the most money on health (17% of GDP against 11% in France) while having an inefficient and very unequal system. With less than 3 hospital beds per 1,000 inhabitants (6 in France and 13 in Japan), life expectancy lower than the average for OECD countries, co-morbidity rates at Covid-19 (40% of Americans are obese, one in three suffers from diabetes, one in two from cardiovascular disease) among the highest in the world, the United States has 30 million people who have no health coverage, while one in two Americans declares to be underinsured.


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