America’s pandemic response, like the country itself, “valorizes independence and prizes personal freedom”—no matter the administration.
The trait has hobbled the US strategy—most recently with new CDC guidance that focuses on the vaccinated being “liberated from the pandemic’s collective problem,” writes the incomparable Ed Yong.
The rhetoric of personal choice and responsibility eschews the challenges of the most vulnerable, ignoring yawning gaps in vaccine access, and the added risks to the immunosuppressed.
When the CDC says it’s safe for the vaccinated to stop wearing masks: “What is America’s goal—to end the pandemic, or to suppress it to a level where it mostly plagues communities that privileged individuals can ignore?” Yong writes.
A Pulitzer for Ed: Yong—who has turned out must-read after must-read throughout the pandemic—was awarded the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in Explanatory Reporting last week. The award, a first for the venerable magazine, honors his consummate skill in distilling the major themes that have defined this past year. Bravo! Check out the Ed Yong essentials.