COVID-19: Lots of mistakes made along the way


Democratic Party leaders in the House of Representatives are preparing to launch a formal investigation into how President Donald Trump’s administration has handled the COVID-19 crisis, it has been reported.

At some point, such an examination needs to be conducted — but not as an exercise in political point-scoring.

Has the White House made mistakes during the coronavirus pandemic? Of course. Has the Trump administration scored small victories? Again, yes.

More important, have we as a people, working through both Democrat and Republican administrations and congresses done things right in terms of epidemic preparedness — or made mistakes?


COVID-19 is teaching us valuable lessons, at a terrible price. Ensuring we understand them is imperative. There will be another outbreak.

Examining this one through a partisan lens would carry a variety of risks. One is that many people, both Democrats and Republicans, would view conclusions with at least some skepticism. Another is that those involved in the Trump administration’s response to COVID-19 would participate in the investigation only reluctantly and defensively.

We need a clearly objective, yet probing, examination of how well the nation was prepared for COVID-19, in addition to how effective steps to battle it have been.

That probe should be handled by a truly bipartisan congressional commission. It needs to look at how individual cities and states, as well as the federal government, behaved and were prepared.

In the wake of COVID-19, Americans will want answers on what went right and what went wrong. Whether a report on that is scientific or political will have an enormous bearing on how much it helps us prepare for the next public health crisis.


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