OPINION: The Trump administration’s response to crises was harmful and unacceptable

As 2020 ends, a lot of people are saying “good riddance” to what seems like a year full of terrible event after terrible event. Many are quick to complain about the year; however, 2020 itself is not to blame for the events that happened this year. It is the leadership of the American government.

One of the huge events of this year were the California wildfires. While wildfires have been common over the years, 2020 has had some of the worst ones that have burned down millions of acres. According to a Cal Fire Tweet, six of the top 20 largest wildfires occured this year, five of which are in the top 10 worst in California history. Drier forests that further fuel the fires is due to long-lasting climate change, and the current government has done nothing to combat the issue.  Worse yet, the Trump administration has worked to reverse over 80 environmental regulations, the Los Angeles Times reported, many of them from the Obama-era.

Another major event of the year has been the revival of the Black Lives Matter movement, sparked by what seems to be an increase in police brutality against African-American citizens. Police brutality against Black people has existed for a long time, yet during the pandemic, there have been more recordings and an increased awareness of it. While not new, 2020 has only made more people aware of the issue. Even with the increased awareness, many government leaders have made no effort to fix systemic racism in police forces and other institutions. 

By far, the worst crisis that happened in 2020 has been the coronavirus outbreak and the many deaths and tragedies that have happened because of it. While various state governments did initiate shelter-in-place orders and enforce mask-wearing whenever possible, the federal government provided little national directive. Death counts are skyrocketing, and many citizens continue to disobey social distancing and mask-wearing, with little pushback from officials.

Some may say that these negative events lead to good events happening like the BLM and feminism movements becoming more popular. Just because there is a silver lining to many of these incidents, however, does not mean that citizens should have to have suffered through the events of this year for the general public to become aware of their struggle. The potential good that came out of the bad of this year does not excuse the lack of action from the government.