Megan McArdle’s recent column compared Americans’ reactions to the 9-11 attacks and the covid-19 pandemic as similar. She proposes the do-nothing reactions from many Americans in both cases was “normalcy bias” and should be blameless.
The twin tower attacks in 2001 were immediate. Everybody regardless of politics was shocked by 9-11 attacks. Not one American felt that we should just sit around and do nothing about it, including President Bush!
The pandemic in contrast wasn’t seen as an immediate threat. People just went about their normal lives with it in the background. It was also completely dismissed by Trump as “fake news.” As the threat became obvious, it was again dismissed by the president prompting his followers to do the same. This is the same president who dissolved the pandemic team.
Many did not dismiss this threat. We actually listened to the scientists desperately trying to sound the alarm bell. We didn’t want it to be real, but knew it was! Once mask effectiveness was established Trump and his supporters made this a political issue. Many like me have worn masks and have taken social distancing measures seriously as an attempt to protect other fellow Americans.
Here’s just another attempt from Megan McArdle to even out the blame between Democrats and Republicans. History will show that Trump and his followers will bear the brunt of responsibility for the SNAFU we are in now.