Post Coronavirus, What’s the plan?

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Hint: There isn’t one. Will Jared save us?

Eventually, the coronavirus crisis we’re currently experiencing will end. People will go back to work, restaurants will open, and the sports world will be back in business.

Isn’t it remarkable that we have a president of the United States whose leadership, competence, and honesty will allow that to happen?

Sorry about that. I couldn’t help myself. I should have warned that biting sarcasm was forthcoming. I wish I didn’t have to resort to such shenanigans, but in the current situation we find ourselves, can you blame me?

The truth is, though, we will eventually get back to normal. How long that’s going to be is anyone’s best guess. But no matter when that day comes, it’s not going to happen with the president merely proclaiming, “I’ve done the greatest job, ever. Thanks to me, the virus is now contained. Everybody, starting tomorrow, let’s get back to work!”

Sorry, Mr. President. No, you have not done a great job. Thanks to you, we are now leading the world in confirmed cases of Covid-19, with deaths mounting at an alarming rate. The incompetence and bungling of the response to this world-wide pandemic are one for the history books. Maybe not the history books in Red State America, mind you, but everywhere else will know the true story of this nightmare, and we will not let you forget it.

Which brings us to the real question going forward: How are we going to get back to normal, and what will it look like once we do? That answer, of course, depends on who you ask. A strategic and comprehensive plan, however, is the only way we can get back to any semblance of life, as we once knew it–pre-coronavirus. And if the previous three-and-a-half years of this administration is the benchmark for how to tackle a problem of this magnitude, we’re in serious trouble folks.

Because, by all accounts, the kind of plan I’m talking about does not exist. Not from this administration. They’re still playing catch up to nearly two months of dithering and ineptitude in getting a handle on this crisis. How in the hell can we expect these people to do what’s required going forward? The short answer is: we can’t.

Indeed, the task ahead is daunting. In an article from the Washington Post, columnist Jennifer Rubin cites a survey conducted with a panel of economists by The Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. They asked the economists if they agree with the following: “Required elements for an economic ‘re-start’ after lockdowns include a massive increase in testing capacity (for infections and anti-bodies) along with a coherent strategy for preventing new outbreaks and reintroducing low-risk/no-risk individuals into public activities.”

Ninety-three percent said yes, with seventy percent saying they strongly agreed. In other words, there’s a growing consensus among most economists around the country that these are the kinds of steps it’s going to take to get us back to where we need to be. Unfortunately, there’s also a growing consensus that unless there’s a miraculous change of course with this administration, the necessary measures will fall desperately short.

And it’s not just the testing/anti-bodies component that we need for a proper re-start to our economy. We also need treatments and a viable vaccine, which could take well over a year.

A few days ago, the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner appeared at the daily dog and pony show ‘press conference.’ Evidently, Jared’s been the guy in charge of the response all along. And I thought that was Mike Pence? Or wait, wasn’t it acting Admiral so and so?

So can we now assume that Jared will be the guy in charge of the economic re-start? He’s done such a bang-up job, why not? That way, his father-in-law can at least blame someone in his own family when everything goes to hell in a handbasket.

The president calls himself a war-time president. And, in a sense, he’s correct about our current situation being equivalent to war. But this conflict is against an invisible enemy, not an adversarial country with tanks, guns, and soldiers. The enemy we’re fighting is smart, adept, and doesn’t discriminate based on wealth, stature, sex, or race. We’re all in this together, or at least we should be.

But we can’t go to war without confidence in the guy leading the charge. We want someone who exudes honor, dignity, and above all else, competency. Unfortunately, those traits do not exist with our current commander-in-chief.

In order to get our economy back on track, we need to trust what our leader tells us. The deftness and precision required for such a monumental task is nowhere to be found in this president. Any other president would have appointed someone qualified and universally respected to oversee much of the response to this crisis. Instead, he enlists Jared to solve one of the most complex challenges we’ve ever faced as a country.

With competent leadership and a president who cared more about the country than his reelection, I’m confident we could have figured this out reasonably and methodically. But that’s irrelevant because that person does not exist at present.

The old saying goes something like this: You go to war with the army you have. I believe the ‘brilliant’ Donald Rumsfeld is the guy credited with that statement. But let’s revise it slightly and substitute ‘army’ with ‘president.’ We’re stuck with this guy, at least for several months. But it didn’t have to be this way.

In early February, Republican Senators could have done us all a favor when it was their turn to render a verdict against this president at the impeachment trial. They could have done the right thing. They cowardly chose not to do so. And now, we, the American people, are paying for that cowardice.

Thank you, Senators. This mess is on you.

17 comments

  1. Of course I agree with all this, Jeff. I make a few of the same points in the post I’m finishing up for tomorrow, though I’m mostly covering different territory.

    Your biting sarcasm is fully justified.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sigh. Most people seem to be operating under the very false impression that once the virus is contained and Trump says the country is to open back up, everything will magically open up, the markets will climb, and life will return to the way we knew it in January. Ain’t gonna happen. Restaurants will need to re-stock, and food suppliers will not be able to handle all the orders. Some local establishments will have filed for bankruptcy and never re-open. There is a plethora of unforeseen problems that will cause problems with businesses re-opening in any timely fashion. There will be the inevitable recession. Some like myself will have become so disgusted with American capitalism, with wealthy corporations asking the taxpayer to bail them out, that they will swear never to purchase an American-made product again. We will have, by Trump’s actions, lost valuable trading partners. No, there will be no return to the nation as it was in January … probably not ever. The nation is burning, self-destructing under horrible leadership. As you say, the Senate had a chance to stop the madness, but they blew it for a lack of cojones and a surplus of self-interest.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. All true Jill. And now I’m thinking about what you and I have discussed before….what about the election in November? He may not be able to cancel it…but he sure can make it harder for people to vote. Republicans, and him, know that vote by mail would not be good for either. Is it any wonder they’re vehemently against putting that into legislation? Just think…we open back up, the virus comes back with a vengeance in the fall, Trump orders a shelter in place, but the election goes on, with several states not having vote by mail choices. The vote is imminently suppressed, he wins, and……..God help us Jill. I think it’s possible.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly! I just finished writing my afternoon post that will go out shortly in which I ranted a bit about how the primaries and local elections in Wisconsin yesterday disenfranchised thousands. What if that happens in November? We will be doomed. I think it is very possible, Jeff, and I am getting the feeling that the people of this country are too worn out from it all, too beaten down, to fight. In which case … we’re doomed. I can picture it so clearly …

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Well said, Jeff. I’d add to the list of those responsible for this calamity the die-hard Trump supporters. Most Republicans in Congress know Trump is stupid and incompetent, but they’re too fearful of those equally stupid Trump voters to risk opposing the new messiah. All the Trumpists–from top to bottom–have blood on their hands. Trump MUST be voted out in November, regardless of the Democratic nominee. Sensible voters cannot afford to be idealists when the fate of the nation–perhaps the entire world–is at stake.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Jerry. Yes, and you can bet that as the virus starts to plateau, and we don’t have the 100-200k deaths they warned us about, he will take all the credit. His idiot followers will praise him, the media will not hold him accountable, the economy starts to come back, and bingo! He snakes his way back into the White House. We cannot let that happen!!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Jill! Always
      ….Grifter in chief….grifter son-in-law…and grifter Daughter. Not to mention the other hangers on that work for him.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Why, with all the wealth-inequality, the overpaid white-collar workers, and the underpaid garbage collectors, would anyone in their right mind want to go back to the way things were? Please tell me you aren’t serious!
    Now, or in the coming days, is the time to fight for the little guy, and get rid of the money-hoarding rich. Give value where value is due. No one person is greater than any other, each must do their job to accomplish a goal. This is nothing new. It is time to make it reality.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. No, I didn’t mean go back to that way of life. I’m talking about getting back to work and restarting the economy. Now, what we do in the future to address that wealth inequality is another post for another day. In fact, I did address that last week: An Economic Wakeup Call. Do you really think that with this idiot president, and this feckless and irresponsible Republican Senate, we’ll get to address the economic hardship we suffer from in this country? Of course not. The idea now is to beat Trump in November, take back the Senate, keep the House, and let the Democrats try and rescue this country. What other choice do we have?

      Liked by 1 person

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