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Preparedness, Planning, and Leadership: Professor William C. Banks Looks at Lessons Learned in 2020

Posted on Tuesday 1/5/2021
William C. Banks

Hope jostles with fear in US

(China Daily | Jan. 5. 2021) New leader on way, but wounds could take time to heal in polarized nation

The year 2020 has passed into history with a series of cascading events in the United States ranging from racism protests to a traumatic presidential election-all played out against the backdrop of a deadly pandemic.

The past year will make itself felt in 2021 as a more divided country grapples with twin health and economic crises.

The US casualties from the novel coronavirus, which the nation's scientists now believe first infected people there in mid-December 2019, had surged past 351,000 on the first days of 2021. That's roughly one of every 1,000 residents, the most in the world for a single nation.

But the pandemic wasn't the only event that shaped the year.

William Banks, distinguished professor emeritus at Syracuse University College of Law in New York, summed up 2020 in three phrases: COVID-19, racial justice and democracy threatened.

The pandemic will mark 2020 as equivalent to 1918, when a similar pandemic killed huge numbers of people, Banks said.

"The lessons learned hopefully are preparedness, planning, and leadership," he told China Daily. "The US lacked all three this year" ...

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