To the editor:

“We don’t want to go through this again — we can’t.”

The COVID-19 emergency is one of the most significant crises since World War II, a crisis on a massive scale — one that was both foreseeable and foreseen by many in and out of government.

We won’t know for many months, just what the toll, both in lives lost and what the long-term economic effects will be, but Americans sooner or later are going to want answers as to why we weren’t better prepared for this pandemic.

The No. 1 question will be: Why did we test such a small number of people for the coronavirus so many weeks into pandemic? Why did we wait?

Who made that decision and why? Was it decided by one person or was the decision made by committee?

At the end of January, the Trump administration barred non-U.S. citizens who had recently gone to China from entering the United States and also decided to quarantine Americans who had visited the area where the virus is thought to have originated — Wuhan, China.

The central question may end up being: Why didn’t President Donald Trump and his administration use the weeks of additional time to prepare for the crisis by ramping up production and availability of tests?

Many clear-thinking, sober-minded people already know the answer.

Michael Corthell

Bridgton, Maine

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