Without a doubt, there are now and will be more citizens who will die as a result of federal failures and some Governors who have refused to issue orders for the public to follow standard protocols in minimizing the spread of the Coronavirus or will move to reopen their states without the adequate testing procedures in place to ensure public safety. The key question now is: When the real health experts tell us what we need to do to get back to normal and stay there, will the President and all Governors really lead? Or will some elected leaders simply ignore them and fumble around giving lip service at best and putting the blame elsewhere?
One clear example of accountability is observing how leaders provide the public with reliable, factual, and science-based information. There have and will be more deaths from the virus, the direct result of citizens getting their news and health updates from Rush Limbaugh and Fox News. Fox News has finally come around to accept some real science but only after large death numbers have piled up. Such behavior borders on criminal action. And now, they are pushing to “open up the economy” immediately, viewing all those who will be infected in the future as an “acceptable loss.”
Unfortunately, if folks simply refuse to understand or believe the real danger posed by COVID-19, that does not exempt them from getting sick or infecting others. In fact, reckless behavior in this volatile time will have dire consequences. Time will reveal the whole story. And, when the results come in, it will be impossible to ignore the real impact and loss of life from a virus that does not stop to ask someone if they believe in its existence before infecting an individual and taking its toll. So, more than ever, Americans need to hear the truth and operate from one set of facts in order to guide responsible action and decisions.
The appreciation we’ve seen for health care professionals gives me hope that perhaps more people will respect their sacrifices by heeding their expert advice—during this crisis and into the future. Given all the time we have been staying at home, there is plenty of time to think. In this case, I want to look for a silver lining, something potentially positive to come out of this horrific tragedy we are living through. Writing this blog got me thinking about what could be really positive spin offs to come from what we are experiencing. As I wrote last week, it’s critical for us to learn from this crisis in order for us all to emerge stronger.
Could one result be the public having MORE RESPECT FOR SCIENCE in governance decisions? And, if so, does that extend to other policy areas, many of which have parallels to what we’re seeing with Coronavirus? For instance, what about a majority of the public accepting the realities like climate change and voting in November for candidates who understand and are willing to invest in policy changes needed for our own good?
Naturally, coming to this conclusion without a global pandemic would have been the ideal, but I will take second best, given our choices at the moment.