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People wearing masks and gloves wait to checkout at Walmart on April 03, 2020, in Uniondale, New York. People wearing masks and gloves wait to checkout at Walmart on April 03, 2020, in Uniondale, New York. Al Bello/Getty Images

While the United States is considered a global economic superpower, the production engine proved to be unprepared to protect its citizens in the face of a pandemic.