He was either being ignorant or dishonest. I’m inclined to think it’s the latter.
Many places were better prepared to handle an inevitable pandemic. Noam Chomsky said here that the US, given it’s gradual outsourcing of public health functions to the private sector, was at the bottom of the preparedness barrel:
China itself seems to have controlled it, at least for now. The same is true of the countries in China’s periphery where the early warnings were heeded, including democracies no less vibrant than those of the West. Europe mostly temporized, but some European countries acted. Germany appears to hold the global record in low death rates, thanks to spare health facilities and diagnostic capacity, and rapid response. The same seems to be true in Norway. Boris Johnson’s reaction in the U.K. was shameful. Trump’s U.S. brought up the rear.
Chomsky: Ventilator Shortage Exposes the Cruelty of Neoliberal Capitalism
In the US, it’s about making money, not protecting the public’s health. Chomsky cited this excerpt from a New York Times article:
“The stalled efforts to create a new class of cheap, easy-to-use ventilators highlight the perils of outsourcing projects with critical public-health implications to private companies; their focus on maximizing profits is not always consistent with the government’s goal of preparing for a future crisis.”
Public health and maximizing profit don’t mix.