This Pandemic Is Truly American

Dear Pandemic:

Thank you for your application for American citizenship. While I was initially skeptical given your origin in China and your coming of age in Europe, several new issues have since come to light.

First, while the novel coronavirus doesn’t care about race or nationality, apparently you have been preying disproportionately on black and Hispanic victims. This is the case in New York, Los Angeles, and Louisiana, and we’ll probably see a similar pattern in other areas once we receive detailed data. But the pattern is most stark in Chicago, where last week city officials noted that, although black people make up only 29% of the population, they comprise 71% of coronavirus deaths.

Second, you are clearly familiar with another standard practice here, nepotism. After all, the White House coronavirus task force is effectively being led behind the scenes by a smug-faced, rich white kid who was admitted into an Ivy League college due to his father’s multi-million-dollar donation and who got his current job due to his father-in-law. The kind of guy who was born on third base but thinks he hit a triple. He drops the word “data” like it’s hot; he brought in a bunch of his slim-suit-wearing buddies; he seems skeptical both of health experts and local officials closer to the ground; and he has a team cover up for him when necessary.

Finally, what’s more American than political polarization? After all, despite a relatively reliable public source tracking worldwide coronavirus infections, how Americans see you seems to depend completely on their political affiliation and which cable news channel they watch.

Congratulations, Pandemic. After further review, despite the White House’s frequent attempts to paint you as the Chinese virus, we have determined that you are now truly American.

Born in the Bronx, raised in NJ, living in Harlem. BA from Harvard, MBA from Dartmouth, CFA. Dual citizen: USA & Jamaica, Finance & Soccer.

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