The Chinese lying for all of December and much of January didn't help. But once they locked down Wuhan on 31 January risking their export $$$ and ruinating their economy, we could have done more.
If the virus mortality rate can be cut by 90% if we have sufficient ventilators then it makes a little more sense to just let the virus rip, target a quarantine on the very most vulnerable, and then just treat it like we get a double flu season in 2020. (If it means we have 100,000s of thousands of people barely able to breathe for the rest of their lives, this changes and we have to adopt something similar to what we're doing.)
Instead ... we (and the EU is just as guilty if not more so) did nothing. Trump called it a hoax or overblown (and yeah he may not have used those exact words, but come on the right wing media downplayed the dangers.
Spain held a giant feminist rally on the 7th.
And now we're faced with trashing the economy through quarantine, or trashing it through a repeat of fall 1918.
Imagine a world in which 50k ventilators were put on order around February 20. Where factories were switched over to produce a domestic stock of PPE starting around Valentine's Day. Where retailers were brought in to ensure that toiletries didn't reach shortage levels. A world where researchers try and identify what characteristics of people make COVID 19 unnoticed in some and deadly in others. (For example, is one of the other coronaviruses like cowpox was to smallpox?)