How would America handle a COVID-19 epidemic?

Much of the reporting on the Chinese government’s handling of COVID-19 is justifiably critical, but that should not blind us to the fact that other countries may also be woefully unprepared. As the world worries about infection spikes in South Korea and Japan (porous paywall), the U.S. does not seem to have much of a plan.

Here are two signs that America may not be prepared:

Earlier this week, the State Department flew 14 passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Japan on a plane with other uninfected passengers, against the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Washington Post describes the “nightmare.”

If the U.S. had to deal with intensive care unit (ICU) admission rates similar to those in Wuhan, the “healthcare system would quickly be overrun,” according to one American ICU doctor.