To the editor:

A friend in Kenya reports a dramatic difference between the responses to COVID-9 there versus the ineffective measures taken by our government. While Trump was saying at first that COVID-19 was nothing to be feared and then that he had everything under control while the virus was spreading like wildfire, authorities in Kenya took prompt and aggressive action. For example, every passenger on a commuter ferry to Mombasa is sprayed head to foot with disinfectant on every trip. The government attitude there is reflected in the following paragraph from his report:

“When masks were hard to obtain, Kenya began manufacturing its own masks, which are now being hawked on the streets throughout the country. When personal protective equipment (PPE) was unavailable, Kenya began manufacturing PPE. When ventilators were unobtainable, Kenya began manufacturing them at about one-fourth the cost of buying them internationally. When the long swabs were unobtainable, Kenya started making them. In short, Kenya is not depending upon the wealthy donor nations to come to the rescue, but confronting COVID-19 head-on with her own resources.” We are only now following suit.

The results reflect this difference in the response to the pandemic. Kenya has 11 cases per million people while the United States has 3,905 cases per million. Kenya has experienced only 0.5 deaths per million people while the United States has 232 deaths per million. Not only Kenya, but other countries such as New Zealand, Australia and South Korea have done a far better job than the U.S. in controlling the disease with correspondingly better results. As of May 11, 80,000 Americans had died as a result of the failure of our government to take prompt, aggressive action to control the pandemic. It is actively contributing to exacerbating other problems such as global warming, the results of which promise to be even more serious.

How can millions of American voters support such unmitigated incompetence?

Milt Lauenstein

Exeter, N.H.

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