Please excuse the following ramble–my mind is spinning today. Gee, I wonder why.
Can the president of the United States please shut up? Instead of allowing the scientists and doctors to take the lead on the coronavirus crisis, the administration continues to put him in our face every day. Last night’s oval office address? I’m still trying to figure out why he did it.
Yes, I’ve seen Dr. Anthony Fauci quite a bit in recent days. And that’s a good thing. He’s the guy I’m going to listen to, and I hope the American people are doing the same.
But it’s hard because even when we see Fauci, there’s Trump at the White House, mugging for the camera with some foreign leader from wherever. The media tries to ask him questions about the virus, and as usual, he responds with undecipherable meanderings and lies. Do his people not realize that every time the man speaks, the ensuing panic from the rest of the world goes up exponentially?
Obviously, nobody has the balls to tell him to stay out of the mess he created. Nobody has the nerve to say to him, “Mr. President, Mar-A-Lago is very nice this time of year. We think it would be best if you went down there for the next three or four months. Go ahead, play some golf. Have dinner with your buddies; let them tell you how great you are all day long. And we’ll take care of things up here until it’s time to ramp up the campaign. Have a great time!”
A bit of hyperbole never hurt anyone, right? I’m only half-joking, though. He needs to disappear. The ship is rudderless, folks, and we all knew we’d get to this point eventually. Now that we’re here, who’s going to save us, Mike Pence? Kelly Ann Conway? I’m about to get sick even thinking about it.
Why is it that in the United States of America, the wealthiest country on the planet, we cannot get test kits to the people who need them? I heard Fauci today lament that fact in his testimony before Congress. He called it a failure and said our system is not cut out for such a thing. How is this possible? Where are the damn tests?
How can Majority Leader Mitch McConnell delay legislation on dealing with this crisis until next week? People are in panic mode, the stock market is tanking by the minute, and he can’t find the time to get it done? The lack of leadership and a sense of urgency is beyond the pale.
I’m saddened to see the NBA suspend it’s season indefinitely. I was equally saddened to see the NCAA decide to play its upcoming basketball tournament without fans in the arenas. Soon Major League Baseball will have to make similar decisions on their upcoming season. The PGA Tour and other sports leagues are facing the same fate. The situation continues to evolve as we speak.
I’m a sports fan. I know many of you aren’t, and I get that. But these decisions are a punch to the gut. No, not so much for the fans. We’ll be fine, of course. It’s the people who work within the sports themselves who I worry about. Jobs and livelihoods are at risk.
When the cancellations began a few weeks ago, the first being the South by Southwest Music and Arts Festival in Austin, Texas, I started to wonder whether we might be overreacting. Then, after one infection in Riverside County, CA was announced, the Indian Wells BNP Paribas Tennis tournament was canceled. I used to live in that area, and the event brings in millions of dollars to the local communities. One infection? That’s all it took?
But the experts were talking like this was a necessary thing to do. And yesterday, I heard Fauci say that if we do not start increasing social distancing, especially at large events, we may never be able to stop the onslaught of this virus. That was enough for me. Again, I’ll listen to him—not the current president.
I can’t help but think that this is only the tip of the iceberg. Soon, the NCAA may be forced to cancel their tournament altogether. I know they’re trying to find a way to play the games. But with over 68 teams and nearly 1000 players and coaches involved, it’s highly probable that some will test positive for the virus at some point–just as two NBA players did yesterday. I’m hoping for the best, but the handwriting is on the wall.
We’re now in unchartered territory. The closest thing I can remember in my lifetime, as far as disruption to everyday life, is the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. But even then, it didn’t last very long. Things got back to normal relatively quickly. Not this time, I fear. America is shutting down—indefinitely. And there’s not much we can do about it.
I hear our conservative friends continue to downplay everything about the current situation. Fox News is basically calling it a hoax. This is all about the Democrats and their hatred of the president. That’s the narrative being spewed on that network. And that means that a bunch of people at risk is not hearing the truth. Their viewers skew to the over 65 crowd, and many of them only believe what Fox or the current president tells them. This is a danger to not only them but to the rest of us as well.
I’ve heard some (not all) Republicans on the various committees questioning administration officials about their abject failure to get things under control. You can listen to their frustration echo those of the Democrats. We need more of that from them. Too often, they’ve looked the other way while this president runs roughshod over our democracy. But when their own constituents start to get sick or can’t get the tests they need, even they cannot stay silent.
But then I thought to myself how those same Republicans could have done America and the rest of the world a tremendous favor just a few weeks ago. They could have voted to remove the current president from office, but they chose otherwise. We’re all paying the price for that decision. Let’s make sure they pay a political price in November.
Once again, I apologize for my incoherent rambling today. Maybe I need a break. Don’t we all?