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.