This Ross Douthat column gets at something I’ve found myself wondering: How many lives could have been saved in the United States if a normal president had been in the White House?
A Columbia study showed that 36,000 people would not have died if the shutdown had started a week earlier, and 54,000 if it had started two weeks earlier. But might they have died later on during the summer surge?
The real problem has been Trump’s complete lack of seriousness and empathy. Maybe the death toll wouldn’t be all that different. But we wouldn’t feel completely abandoned.