Tags: coronavirus | trump

America Must Unite to Win This Viral War Together

a fist punching with coronavirus on its side is met by the gloved hand of a medical worker
(Anton Skavronskiy/Dreamstime)

By Thursday, 28 May 2020 08:15 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Experience teaches us tough lessons when we suddenly realize, sometimes with no prior warning at all, that comfortable, familiar life, livelihood and lifestyle circumstances we took for granted yesterday are gone — possibly forever. The black winds of COVID-19 suddenly and violently swept away countless sources of comfort and contentment — even many we never fully appreciated. And with hurricane force, it hit all of us at once; no one was entirely spared.

President Donald Trump's characterization of the COVID-19 pandemic as a war is quite appropriate. Within less than three months after the first U.S. death was reported, more Americans had died from the disease than fell in battle during the Vietnam War. It has disrupted more lives, thrown more people out of work, and upended more businesses than the Great Depression.

And of course, the U.S. is not alone. Much of the world has been shut down; global trade has been upended in ways not seen since World War II, and the spreading economic and geopolitical fallout from the pandemic is already on course to dwarf the consequences of the 2008-09 financial crisis.

All of these dire circumstances impact our nation's economy and recovery.

Lamentably, whereas wartime circumstances usually tend to draw citizens together in common purposes behind national leadership that transcends partisan adversarial dissensions, this one appears to be a notable exception.

Particularly uncharitable, former President Barack Obama critically assailed Trump's handling of the coronavirus response in a streamed online May 16 video commencement speech to graduates of historically black colleges. Rather than encouraging national confidence and unity, he told them, "More than anything, this pandemic has fully, finally torn back the curtain on the idea that so many of the folks in charge know what they're doing."

Obama added that "A lot of them aren't even pretending to be in charge," and referred to his successor administration's response to the pandemic as a "chaotic disaster."

Presumptive Trump election opponent Joe Biden's campaign organization had previously sent out an Apr. 22 memo to surrogates charging that, "Donald Trump hasn't taken responsibility for fighting coronavirus, or for the mistakes he has made in failing to do so. He ignored the warnings from health experts, from his own advisers. He squandered precious time during which he should have been preparing. The result: America is seeing the worst death toll from the coronavirus of any country, and precipitous loss of jobs."

Let's recall that on January 31, ignoring "expert health information" from the World Health Organization that a deadly new COVID-19 virus that was spreading in Wuhan, China, posed no human-to-human transmission threat, President Trump shut down all flights from that country.

On March 12, former Vice President Joe Biden had criticized the travel ban as unnecessary and racist, saying, "This is no time for Donald Trump's record of hysteria and xenophobia, hysterical xenophobia, to uh, and fear mongering." 

Biden again charged Trump with "fanning the flames of hate" and racism on May 9.  Speaking in a video broadcast to the Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) Victory Fund, Biden said the president had been slow to respond to the pandemic, and that he had only offered the public "denials, delays and distractions, many of which were nakedly xenophobic."

On March 29, Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told CNN's "State of the Union" host Jake Tapper that Trump hadn't taken the coronavirus seriously enough from day one, and still wasn't doing enough. "As the president fiddles, people are dying," Pelosi said.

Asked by Tapper if she believes Trump's downplaying of the crisis has cost American lives, Pelosi responded, "Yes, I am. I'm saying that."

The hypocrisy in all of this is stunningly destructive.

During a time when Pelosi had managed to forcibly focus attention of the U.S. Senate upon a partisan impeachment charade, Trump's was indeed directed to a very serious crisis matter. It was one that required shutting down the entire social and economic life of the nation to contain a deadly viral scourge.

Paradoxically preposterous, on February 24, only one month before Trump's alleged "downplaying of costs of lives," Pelosi had spent several hours in San Francisco's Chinatown to encourage people to visit shops and restaurants that had lost customers amid growing fears of exposure to the COVID-19 virus. "You should come to Chinatown. Precautions have been taken by our city. We know there is concern about tourism throughout the world but we think it's very safe to be in Chinatown and hopefully, others will come," Pelosi said.

Let's remember, after all, that it was Trump who organized a top level team of renowned medical experts headed by Vice President Pence who, along with the president held daily development news briefings; who mobilized a historic public-private war-level effort to create medical equipment, build coronavirus treatment hospitals, perfect and conduct tens of millions of infection tests; and who built huge coalitions of medical research and pharmaceutical partnerships in a modern-day Manhattan Project to innovate new cures and vaccines in record time.

Realities of a highly polarized presidential election season notwithstanding, let's give our commander in chief in this war some earned leadership credit, and perhaps, even some gratitude.

And while we're at it, let's also get a grip on the biggest viral threat of all. We can't afford to let deadly pandemic politics divide and conquer all of us.

Larry Bell is a senior visiting scholar at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. He is also an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA) and the graduate program in space architecture. Larry has written more than 600 articles for Newsmax and Forbes, and is the author of several books. Included are: "Cyberwarfare: Targeting America, Our Infrastructure and Our Future" (2020), "The Weaponization of AI and the Internet: How Global Networks of Infotech Overlords are Expanding Their Control Over Our Lives" (2019), "Reinventing Ourselves: How Technology is Rapidly and Radically Transforming Humanity" (2019), "Thinking Whole: Rejecting Half-Witted Left & Right Brain Limitations" (2018), "Reflections on Oceans and Puddles: One Hundred Reasons to be Enthusiastic, Grateful and Hopeful" (2017), "Cosmic Musings: Contemplating Life Beyond Self" (2016), "Scared Witless: Prophets and Profits of Climate Doom" (2015) and "Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax" (2011). He is currently working on a new book with Buzz Aldrin, "Beyond Footprints and Flagpoles." Read Larry Bell's Reports — More Here.

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Whereas wartime circumstances usually tend to draw citizens together in common purposes behind national leadership that transcends partisan adversarial dissensions, this one appears to be a notable exception.
coronavirus, trump
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2020-15-28
Thursday, 28 May 2020 08:15 AM
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