As Ireland's leader wins international praise, Donald Trump pointing fingers and spreading untruths while the truth is now undeniable the United States is the epicenter of the Coronavirus outbreak.
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar won international praise for his tough-minded but compassionate speech to the Irish nation last week about the challenges they will face together fighting Covid-19.
Meanwhile, more than 80 Irish doctors have voluntarily returned to Ireland from Australia to help fight the coronavirus at home.
Then, in an ambitious national relief effort, Irish airline Aer Lingus announced it will fly five of its largest aircraft packed with vital health supplies from China back to Ireland in a coronavirus aid mission.
Dozens of Irish pilots have volunteered to help with this long-distance humanitarian effort, which will involve sending Airbus A330 passenger planes to Beijing up to 60 times to collect vital medical equipment ordered by the Irish Health Service Executive (HSE).
These long haul mercy flights will ensure that up to 100,000 of the much needed Covid-19 testing kits per week make it back to Ireland. Each flight will be packed with ventilators, PPE, masks, goggles, testing kits and more.
The Chinese Embassy in Ireland has reportedly waived visa fees for Irish pilots in a gesture of help during this crisis. An embassy spokesperson told the press: "We also do our best to help Aer Lingus to get slots at very busy airports in Beijing. Hundreds charter flight applications there now."
But the speed and focus of the Irish search for vital testing equipment and PPE for its health care workers stand in sharp contrast to unfocused, contradictory and dithering response from the White House.
This week we have seen medical staff in New York City, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, resort to wearing bin bags for lack of personal protective equipment.
So how can a nation the size of Ireland, with a fraction of its resources, do a much better job at securing its citizens' health and well being?
Holy freaking hell. A nursing manager at Mt Sinai Hospital in NYC just died from coronavirus. Nurses at the hospital have been wearing trash bags because of the lack of protective gear. https://t.co/DSkHKVECmE pic.twitter.com/gl3w7ksPog— Mark Elliott (@markmobility) March 26, 2020
Could President Trump learn from Ireland about how to mount and manage a national crisis response?
Ireland has just effectively nationalized its entire health service in response to the pandemic. Private hospitals are being taken over and every citizen is promised equal access to treatment, regardless of their insurance status.
"We must, of course, have equality of treatment, patients with this virus will be treated for free, and they’ll be treated as part of a single, national hospital service," Irish Health Minister Simon Harris told the press this week.
That's a remarkable change, but it's only the start of their national planning. The Irish government has also stopped evictions and frozen rents to protect people from becoming homeless during the pandemic.
Why are New Yorkers, at the epicenter of the growing US crisis, being treated with the cold indifference if not outright contempt that Trump showed toward Puerto Rico during their recent emergency?
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio says he suspects that Trump will attempt to hide his administration's lack of preparation by blaming China rather than himself.
Always pointing fingers, never doing the work, many news channels have reportedly stopped broadcasting Trump's pressers because they are filled with misinformation and untruths.
"We don't have the tools we need. I don't really care if I get in trouble for speaking to the media. I want people to know this is bad. People are dying." A doctors desperate dispatch from the front lines of the coronavirus crisis in New York City. @cbsthismorning pic.twitter.com/RQfIYV2vk7— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) March 26, 2020
The truth on the ground in is undeniable now. The United States now has more coronavirus cases - at least 81,321 people - than any other country. That shocking figure must be laid at his unprepared feet.
After months of sounding the alarm our doctors still don't have the coronavirus tests, they don't have the ventilators, they don't have the personal protective equipment, they don't have the beds.
Every governor in every state is screaming at him to use The Defense Production Act to mass produce critical medical supplies. He is refusing. Every second of his inaction is costing lives.
Trump should learn from Ireland, stop feeling sorry for himself, stop blaming the media, put on his big boy pants and start leading our own national response.
It's hard to get your mind around how much this will change America. If it doesn't make us more inclined to heed science, value expertise, and care for one another, we are going to be in really big trouble.— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) March 26, 2020