By Eduardo Porter, The New York Times, March 28, 2020
Cloistered in my Brooklyn quarantine, I’ve probably been wondering about some of the same things you have: How come the United States only has 2.4 intensive care beds per 1,000 people, about one-third the number in South Korea? Why is American unemployment insurance so stingy? And critically, how can it be that one in 10 people in the richest country in the history of the world must face the worst epidemic in 100 years without access to health care?
The reason, in my view, is the same one that explains why the United States suffers the highest rate of infant mortality among advanced countries, why our poverty is higher and why our suicide rates are off the charts. In the United States, people are expected to survive on their own. Those who cannot, are often left to sink.
I just wrote a book about this. I called it “American Poison.”