Dick Morris: Trump and U.S. Medicine Worked While Europe's Failed


As of today the United States has had 23,000 deaths from coronavirus. Italy, France, Spain and the U.K. have had 67,000 deaths combined. But these four countries have a combined population of only 241 million compared to 328 million in the US.

If our mortality rate were the same as these European countries, we would have 91,000 corpses on our hands.

This vivid, though gruesome, comparison illustrates the superiority of the American health care system, of President Trump’s response to the coronavirus and of the discipline of the American people.

Together, they saved 68,000 lives and counting.

It is fashionable these days to lament the state of the American health care system and, as Bernie Sanders did, speak of the superiority of the single-payer European model. But no comparison could possibly be as vivid as the different way in which these two systems handled the coronavirus.

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At the start, the United States closed its borders first to China, then to Europe and finally to Britain.

Realizing that the pandemic was spread by global migration, President Trump knew that to protect America we had to seal our borders. By contrast, the ideology of globalism was so strong in Europe that it resisted any action to contain the virus and keep it from European shores.

Instead, this virus, which originated in China, was allowed to enter and to savage the continent. Lacking the mechanism or the political will to protect its people, the EU opened its frontiers to death.

But in the United States — despite accusations of isolationism and xenophobia —national frontiers inhibited the virus’ spread. By cordoning off America, President Trump saved tens of thousands of lives.

Are you thankful for the superiority of America's health care system during the coronavirus pandemic?

Once people became ill with the virus, the superiority of the American health care system kicked in and produced a death rate way below that which prevailed in Europe.

In Italy, 13 percent of those infected have died. In the U.K., the virus has taken the lives of 12.6 percent. In Spain, 10 percent and in France 12.2 percent of those infected have passed away. But in the U.S., only 4 percent have died.

The virus is, of course, the same on either side of the Atlantic. There has been no medical breakthrough in treating or curing it unique to the U.S. Rather, our relative success is due to the skill, dedication and efficiency of the American health care system over the single-payer systems that predominate in Europe.

It remains to be seen whether a third factor was involved: the discipline of our people.

It is unclear whether lockdown and social distancing measures were more successful in achieving mitigation in the United States because of the willingness of our people to obey quarantine guidelines. Has the United States been better able to enforce mitigation guidelines than Italy, Spain, France or the U.K.?

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As we go forward to reverse quarantines and reopen our countries, we must not lose sight of the enormous lessons the coronavirus teaches.

With all of its defects, the American health care system — and our doctors and nurses — deserves plaudits for the way it has responded to and coped with this international emergency.

Let’s not be so quick to replace it with European models that have failed so spectacularly.

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Dick Morris is a former adviser to President Bill Clinton as well as a political author, pollster and consultant. His most recent book, "50 Shades of Politics," was written with his wife, Eileen McGann.