[Ed. – Fortunately for their narrative, the authors consider no counter-arguments against the proposition that the U.S. is faltering badly in the coronavirus response. Any doubts about the “faltering” are dismissed as “blinkered” partisanship. That said, there’s no question U.S. leadership on the post-1945 model has been waning fast over the last 10-12 years. It will not be restored to what it was before 2008. It’s settling into a different — older — model.]
In 1956, a botched intervention in the Suez laid bare the decay in British power and marked the end of the United Kingdom’s reign as a global power. Today, U.S. policymakers should recognize that if the United States does not rise to meet the moment, the coronavirus pandemic could mark another “Suez moment.”
It is now clear to all but the most blinkered partisans that Washington has botched its initial response. Missteps by key institutions, from the White House and the Department of Homeland Security to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), have undermined confidence in the capacity and competence of U.S. governance. Public statements by President Donald Trump, whether Oval Office addresses or early-morning tweets, have largely served to sow confusion and spread uncertainty. …
As Washington falters, Beijing is moving quickly and adeptly to take advantage of the opening created by U.S. mistakes, filling the vacuum to position itself as the global leader in pandemic response.
The United States, by contrast, lacks the supply and capacity to meet many of its own demands, let alone to provide aid in crisis zones elsewhere. The picture is grim.