But that’s not the path the administration has chosen. The Trump White House has decided that the United States should surrender to the virus — that we’re not going to even try anymore. Not only won’t we have long-overdue national action such as a testing-and-tracing strategy, or federal standards around safe reopening, the administration is actively downplaying the seriousness of the virus. It is meeting the greatest public health crisis of our time with a shrug.

The United States is about to enter a phase of exponential spread. Infection rates will skyrocket; hospitals will once again be overwhelmed; and death rates will climb. We have a narrow window to stop this tidal wave, but we’ve just learned that our government has decided it is unwilling to use it. It’s like learning a foreign enemy is planning an invasion that would kill hundreds of thousands of Americans, and our elected leaders know how to stop it — but simply decided not to.

History will look back on this moment in disbelief and horror.