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The Corona Virus-COVID-19-has hit this country, and it’s getting real here. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has ordered a shutdown of schools and “non-essential” businesses in the state for two weeks (https://www.spotlightpa.org/news/2020/03/pennsylvania-coronavirus-statewide-shutdown-tom-wolf-governor/ ). Restaurants would only have take-out service, no sit-down dining. Meetings and conferences have been postponed, as are religious services.
I, as many of you, am frustrated by the turn of events; but I will adjust to it, and I’m sure you will be able to also. We in this country have been through difficult times in this country, this is only a phase we’re going through, and we will definitely get through this. I advise we follow the basic practices for health, like not going out so much if we’re not feeling well, washing the hands, and calling our loved ones to see if they’re okay.
Where is the leadership in this situation? Mostly at the local and state levels, such as Governors Andrew Cuomo of New York, Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania, JB Pritzker of Illinois, and Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, who have criticized the trump regime’s refusal to deal with the crisis, telling the governors about acquiring ventilators and respirators, to “get them yourselves.” trump, true to form, resorted to attacking them on Twitter for “playing politics,” while they were standing up for the people of their states and pointing out the refusal of the “President” to do something about the public health crisis. (https://www.forbes.com/sites/lisettevoytko/2020/03/17/keep-politics-out-of-it-trump-lashes-out-at-governors-critical-of-federal-coronavirus-response/#19a12af160c3)
Part of the regime’s failure was to not accept a testing mechanism produced by German scientists, and offered by the World Health Organization (WHO) (https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a31677485/coronavirus-trump-administration-rejected-who-test/?fbclid=IwAR3vSjEnuWmEXWlIX7RNsGW-UYEKLi8w3c_jOtVDLbwhdekEpGwmrtPlPdE). The “America First” mentality of the regime is one factor; it has shown contempt for international agreements and longtime allies, while it has shown affection to the most infamous dictators on the planet.
It may be also the trump tendency to make a buck or two out of the Presidency; Joshua Kushner, brother of First-Son-In-Law and “Senior Advisor” Jared, is a part owner of Oscar Health Insurance, which has developed a system for locating testing sites for COVID-19. (https://www.dcreport.org/2020/03/16/how-the-kushner-family-is-cashing-in-on-covid-19/)
Plus, Reuters reports that trump tried to persuade a German biotech firm, CureVac, to move to the US and produce a vaccine for COVID-19-but exclusively for the US. (https://www.reuters.com/article/health-coronavirus-germany-usa-idUSL8N2B8075) This, along with trump calling the disease the “Chinese virus” and an aide joking about “Kung Flu” to a reporter, are all parts of his blatant racism, xenophobia, and look-out-for-number-one attitude, for himself and for what he perceives to be “America.” (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-pacific-heart/202003/calling-covid-19-chinese-virus-or-kung-flu-is-racist?fbclid=IwAR0cLn66ubdqFYq5CCJhNKXOSc4ILitUQ9c9Av-qVW2–oor34Y_G6x24Q4)
No leadership anywhere! Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina spoke to a group of affluent people in his state-HIS kind of people-and warned of the danger of the virus earlier than was previously announced-at the level of the 1918 influenza epidemic. (https://www.npr.org/2020/03/19/818192535/burr-recording-sparks-questions-about-private-comments-on-covid-19) As Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, he could have sounded his own warning about the pandemic, but what did he do? Burr, and several other senators-“representatives of the people,” so-called-cashed in their stocks, to the tune of $598,000 to $1.6 million, ahead of what they saw was an upcoming Stock Market crash. The others were Kelly Loeffer of Georgia, Diane Feinstein of California, and James Inhofe of Oklahoma (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/03/19/reports-burr-loeffler-sold-stocks-ahead-coronavirus-marketcrash/2882006001/).
So many of our elected officials-aside from the ones to have actually taken action during the virus-who we need for leadership in times of crisis-like this!-have failed us, they have betrayed us, they have focused on lining their own pockets. We need confidence and faith that we can surmount this crisis, and from the experience to the past few weeks, the “president” has not inspired the confidence or hope the American people need in this time. It is compatible to right after Pearl Harbor; the nation was frightened and worried, and FDR regularly spoke to the American people assuring them of victory.
Whatever we can do in our own localities, whether it’s sewing surgical masks, calling you neighbors to see if they’re okay, demanding help and accountability from our elected officials, donating time and money-let’s do it, and we’ll beat this enemy. As in earlier crises in our history-the Depression, the Civil war, and World War II-we have emerged a stronger and better nation. we have that in our hands.