Columnist politicizes pandemic
Roger Marolt column attacking President Trump for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic illustrates the fact that we are confronting at least two plagues at the same time — the pandemic and an election (“All lies matter,” Sept. 10, aspentimes.com).
In a normal presidential election year, partisan passions are easily aroused, but this year is not normal because the virus has played havoc with our lives and is being politicized on both sides of the aisle. When we first became aware of COVID-19 in the fall of 2019, the epidemiologic community labeled it a “novel” coronavirus. Although much progress has been made in understanding the new virus and how to treat it, at the tragic cost of many American lives and worldwide, the virus continues to be a mystery even to the medical profession.
Was it wrong for the president to be concerned about panicking the public, particularly when little was known about how infectious the new virus was when the president spoke with Bob Woodward? I don’t think so. Despite the progress made, many Americans continue to be panicked about the virus, unwilling to come into contact with others and insisting that many of our schools remain closed. It’s also clear that the president took decisive action to combat the virus early on, such as closing the United States to and from travel between China and other countries, directing the production and distribution of vast amounts of personal protective equipment and ventilators, and developing a robust nationwide testing regime.
Marolt uses the word “lie” liberally in describing the president’s response to the pandemic. Was it a “lie” for the World Health Organization to wait many months before declaring the virus a pandemic, rather than a mere epidemic? Is it a “lie” for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to suggest that Americans not get vaccinated when a vaccine becomes available? We all need to stop politicizing COVID-19 for the good of the our country. That would at least address one of the twin plagues confronting us.