Cancer researcher gives US a D- grade in brutal assessment of America's COVID-19 response

Physician Siddhartha Mukherjee, a cancer researcher and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, had some harsh words for the United States' response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an interview with Stat News, Mukherjee said that the United States deserves a D- grade for its early response to the coronavirus crisis, although he says there is still time for improvement to make up lost ground.

"We started with a D-,” he said. “And we slowly are climbing back to a non-failing grade.”

Mukherjee argued that all of the shortages in protective equipment at major hospitals were entirely foreseeable, and he said that an earlier surge of resources to hotspots could have prevented the need for the mass economic shutdowns that have crippled the American economy.

"If you wind the clock backwards, you can see at every step how this economic catastrophe could have been avoided," he said. “What’s been shocking, really, has been that it’s made us realize that all of these mechanisms were made or left extremely vulnerable in the last four to five years, and because of these vulnerabilities in each of these mechanisms, we have a situation where we’re suddenly seeing a pandemic in the United States [that] could have been controlled much, much better in its early phases."