In combating COVID-19, our leaders, the Trump administration, had the opportunity to learn from the experience of other countries (e.g. China, South Korea and Italy), but often failed to do so. An effective executive will minimize bureaucratic foul-ups.

Trump apparently failed to take the threat seriously until it was widespread in the U.S. And Trump continues to befoul his press “briefings” with his own prejudices and other inaccurate information.

Increased production of critical supplies could have begun sooner. More widespread testing early on might have allowed us to better track and quarantine those who had come in contact with the first cases.

Lacking well-informed federal direction, state and local governments have been left to enact precautions in a somewhat haphazard manner. Protective gear was sometimes distributed to health care workers without adequate instructions on how to use it.

Having Republicans in power when something goes wrong is bad. The current Republican party seems to care much more about short-term profits for its (often corrupt) financial backers, than about the long-term health of the economy, the environment and people. Heck, they’re talking of reopening businesses while, in effect, the building is still on fire.

— Mark Holmboe, Rockford