As the administration waffled on the seriousness of the coronavirus outbreak, other countries acted swiftly and decisively to protect the health and well-being of their citizens and have managed to keep the death rate down dramatically. Widespread testing, business closings and restrictions on everyday interactions were put into place, and these leaders never backtracked or confused their citizens with mixed messages.
Germany, New Zealand and South Korea are among the nations that listened to their public health officials, instead of calling for their firing (Dr. Fauci). These countries gave their initiatives a chance to take hold and flatten the curve, rather than pressure others into a premature reopening of business (“Liberate” Wisconsin, Minnesota and Virginia).
The White House’s halting response to COVID-19 has cost lives and helped to destroy our economy. And in a hotly contested presidential election season, they’re trying to shift blame to the governors, China and the World Health Organization. This wrong-headed strategy will not work — Americans are not stupid and know who is responsible for this disastrous lack of planning with tragic consequences.
I’m still hoping that I wake up from this nightmare and find that we
Americans will pull together for the greater good and swear off partisan or political interests. Citizens who protest for an opening of the economy are exercising their First Amendment rights, but many stand shoulder-to-shoulder holding signs and yelling at honking cars. Many wear no masks. They risk spreading the coronavirus to those of us who abide by social-distancing requirements.
What our country needs most is a unified approach to end the crisis. Will that ever happen? Will America ever be on the same page, or will our leaders and pundits sow even greater division in an already fractured society?
© Ron Cooper 2020