We Need A Leader

As I write this today, the USA has the highest number of Covid-19 cases. As of March 27th, we have more than 100,000 cases and over 1,300 deaths in America according to a running log on MSNBC. This is because of the gross negligence of the Occupant of the Oval Office. This is because of an awful leader. This is because of his lack of care and attention to this matter earlier in the year. This is because Trump has been an absolute disappointment. His response to this matter has been nothing short of incompetence. People are dying and getting very ill because of him. Our economy has stalled because he failed to act early. Hundreds of thousands of Americans will get sick, and many will die because he still fails to act.

People are dying because we don’t have testing established in a cohesive way. Americans, old and young, are dying because Trump cared more about the way the numbers looked than actually getting a handle on what was going on in late January/early February. Our first case was diagnosed on January 20th. (https://www.livescience.com/coronavirus-updates-united-states.html)

Trump wasted almost 6 weeks before he even acknowledged we may have a problem. He has been actively downplaying the pandemic and doubting it was even a problem. Sadly, many of those who will die are Trump supporters because they believe his lies.  They are our elders. They are those who follow him blindly. They are those who still believe the lie Trump shouted at his rally: “ This is a Democrat hoax.” Well, it wasn’t, Trump. It was real. Now more people will die, thanks to your lack of leadership. All of the warning signs were there, and he ignored them. The blood of every painful and breathless death is on his hands. 

We need a leader to handle a global pandemic. We need national policy to address a national issue. We need a national shutdown NOW! Every country that has contained this pandemic has done so through this drastic measure. “Across the country, the novel coronavirus has transformed daily life. At least 22 states, and several cities in other states, have now ordered residents to shelter in place.” (https://www.livescience.com/coronavirus-updates-united-states.html)

These state-specific bans will not work. People will spread the virus into other open-for-business cities and states. We need a leader who is willing to make hard choices. Look at all the countries with a national shutdown. They have been able to test, isolate, and treat dramatically more before the spread got out of control in most cases. A national response will make it so we test more people more quickly and earlier so that we can get ahead of the pandemic. As of now, with the states left on their own to test, we see a drastic difference in the amount of testing. “States differ in their rates of testing, with California completing 27,654 tests and New York more than 91,000, compared with about 550 in Missouri and just under 700 in Arizona as of March 24. In fact, New York, California and Washington state — where just one-fifth of the U.S. population resides, collectively — have run nearly half of all tests conducted across the country, The Atlantic reported.”(https://www.livescience.com/coronavirus-updates-united-states.html).

This is the President’s fault. We need a consistent and nationwide response to a nationwide problem. How dare you forgo your duties and give up on the nation?! How dare our President worry about anything other than just people dying! In Ohio we are shut down, but what difference does it make if Alabama is not!?! Do your job! Act like a leader. Follow the experts from all over the world. Shut down our nation. In the same way that all the other countries have done. The only essential businesses should be grocery stores, pharmacies, and emergency services. The sooner we shut down, the sooner we open up. The sooner we put our economy back together. Quit passing the buck. Quit waiting on mayors and governors, especially when you don’t even provide them with support. Quit waiting on Congress to provide aid. Do your job, or get out of the office! Trump is going to be responsible for so many people dying because of his failure to act. I have watched every fake press conference since we have started this journey. The lie they tell about this being state-led and federally-supported is nothing more than a theory. They have done nothing. The states don’t have what they need, and every press conference we hear says ventilators and PPE materials are on their way to the states. That is a lie. It makes no sense that people are wearing trash bags as PPE. America is better than this when we have a leader. In fact, Trump has even attacked some governors and stated he doesn’t help them because he doesn’t like them. If you live in Michigan or Washington and voted for Trump, he is choosing not to help you. His contempt is based on them telling the truth about his lack of support and leadership. This isn’t the time to be petty, and he has chosen to ignore your needs because he is a petty person. 

States are left to fend for themselves. Politics and emotions are keeping Trump from doing his job. States are competing against states and the federal government for ventilators and PPE. Why can’t we handle a national health pandemic in a general and nationwide organized manner? The federal government should secure and distribute medical staff, ventilators, and PPE to the hardest hit area first. When they pass their curve, then we send the medical staff and materials to the next hit spot. The next state that is overwhelmed by this pandemic. Be a leader. Organize. Be a President. This is not a novel idea. It is the response supported by global health leaders. “The majority of global public health experts believe that countries need to act quickly and decisively to reduce what Robbert Muggah, a leading Brazil-based risk and security specialist, said ‘represents the most significant threat to population health and political and economic stability in a generation.’ These measures include easy and efficient access to testing and results, rigorous contact tracing, consistent science-based messaging, quarantines and a genuine commitment to clamping down on socializing.” (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2020/03/17/coronavirus-how-countries-across-globe-responding-covid-19/5065867002/

Do your job, or get out of the way. The buck stops with you. You signed up for this and you are failing. Your failure is killing people. Americans, young and old, are giving up so much waiting on your leadership. Kids are missing school. Parents are missing work. Proms and graduations are on hold. I am an expecting mother who can’t properly prepare for my newborn. I am terrified to go to appointments or even to go into labor. I deserve better. We are all waiting for you to do your job!! We deserve a leader. We deserve a national response. We deserve more than just lies and the passing of the buck. Do your job, or get out of the way.

Kenyona “Sunny” Matthews is a motivational speaker focusing on issues of diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism. She is a University of Akron School of Law graduate who focused on civil liberties. She earned her bachelors from Guilford College majoring in Political Science, Philosophy, and African American Studies. She was an active college student helping to start an Anti-Racism team at Guilford College, responsible for organizing city-wide diversity/inclusion events, and developed coursework focusing on race and racism.

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