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Opinion: Texas disaster casts harsh light on America's future

February 19, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 26.5%. 1 min read.

FILE - In this Feb. 16, 2021, file photo, customers use the light from a cell phone to look in the meat section of a grocery store in Dallas. Making decisions about risks ??? large or small ??? in the pandemic era is fraught enough. But the storms and outages ravaging Texas and other states have added a whole new layer to the process. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

No one expects the United States to control the weather and it can't prevent animal viruses in other countries from jumping into humans. But the way it has "handled" recent disasters, from the pandemic to the current weather crisis in Texas, shows that it can offer a master class in how to make a mighty nation look a lot like a failing state.

But the way it has "handled" recent disasters, from the pandemic to the current weather crisis in Texas, shows that it can offer a master class in how to make a mighty nation look a lot like a failing state.

There are many reasons, but this would not be happening if the state --- dominated by Republicans committed to a small government ideology -- had not severed its links to the national electrical grid for the sake of avoiding regulation.

If you want to see the meaning of fanaticism, there's Rick Perry, the former governor who also served as energy secretary under Trump, quoted as saying ("partly rhetorically") that the suffering is worth it, "Texans would be without electricity for longer than three days to keep the federal government out of their business. "

A year ago, then-President Donald Trump boastfully quoted from a study showing the US was the world's best-prepared country to deal with a pandemic.

But preparation crashed into political calculation -- of course, there were other stumbles along the way -- and it was Trump who stood in the way of taking the actions needed to avert the worst disaster to strike the United States in a century, with a death toll approaching half a million people and still climbing.

The "former guy," as President Joe Biden referred to Trump, is no longer in office, so the federal government is already working much better, ready, among other things, to help a dysfunctional Texas.

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