The path forward
Certainly America walks a very fine line between effectively managing this pandemic and getting our economy up and running once again. It is crucial to realize that this is not a choice between one or the other, and that efforts to achieve both of these intertwined goals must proceed hand-in-hand in order to succeed. There really is no other way.
The way forward clearly requires a coordinated national effort to implement proven pandemic management strategies: to test, trace, and quarantine as needed, in conjunction with a gradual stepwise re-opening of our economy including the use of effective disinfection methods, distancing, masks, and the development and widespread distribution of a viable vaccine. The timing and specifics of this process must be guided by science and facts, not denial and wishful thinking. If we do this the wrong way, countless lives will be lost needlessly and the economy will be crushed yet again as this virus erupts with another surge of outbreaks and waves.
Here in America, however, Mr. Trump has refused to embrace his responsibility to provide the national science-based leadership so desperately needed, choosing instead to hand over such responsibility to the states, resulting in a disorganized patchwork system providing him with scapegoats to blame when things go wrong. In addition, he cheers on protesters demanding the lifting of needed safety efforts (even guidelines provided by his own administration), as his priority is getting the economy going as quickly as possible in order to enhance his re-election chances regardless of the cost in human lives. And his grasp of the situation is appalling. He recently said that testing may be “overrated,” because “if we did less testing we would have fewer cases.” He has pushed for treatments that range from unproven (and were subsequently found to be dangerous) to comically absurd (injecting disinfectants). And he has stated that this virus “will miraculously disappear.” Such views coming from the one supposedly leading us through times such as these does not inspire confidence.
There are at least two things we must do to help tame this pandemic and give our economy a chance to recover. First, we must fully support the implementation of necessary pandemic management strategies as we carefully re-open our economy, recognizing that such temporary sacrifices are the only way to move forward successfully. Second, remembering the actions taken by our leaders during these difficult times, we must vote wisely this November.
Dale E. Buonocore,