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Whistle past the graveyard

To the editor:

To hear Donald Trump speak, we are doing well fighting the COVID-19 virus approaching 120,000 deaths. No surprise, his only concern is getting reelected.

When Trump could no longer ignore the Coronavirus, he finally put together a Pandemic Response Team which he quickly passed off to Vice President Pence to manage. Feigning interest, his daily briefings soon turned political. He bantered with governors over their desperate cry for him to take leadership and organize a national procurement system to obtain the necessary PPE’s, ventilators, and tests. Refusing responsibility, he left the Governors to fend for themselves. Later his briefings became a national embarrassment when he promoted the drug hydroxychloroquine (unproven and dangerous) and suggested Clorox injections as a possible treatment. His health experts looked on with subdued horror while Pence gleamed in false adulation.

The Pandemic Task Force hasn’t made a public briefing in over 40 days. Trump’s managing the crisis has morphed into playing down the pandemic in order to hastily reopen the economy and save his presidency. With twenty states recording increases of COVID-19 infections this virus “will not go gentle into that good night.”

Despite these increases, Trump is moving forward with his Tulsa political rally over the objections of his medical experts. Shamefully, he is willing to sacrifice the safety and health of his “tribe” in order to strut and bask in their chants of approval.

He refuses to set an example and follow the guidelines that his coronavirus White House team has recommended. Is it any wonder that when you go to the store less than 40% of the customers are wearing a mask? Wearing the mask and other safeguards is an effort to mitigate the spread of the virus. No one enjoys wearing a mask. It’s inconvenient, unmanly to some, and down right uncomfortable, but it’s essential to safely reopen the economy which everyone wants. Nevertheless, some individuals and businesses could be doing a better job modeling CDC protocols. Wearing a mask, gives customers greater confidence to patronize local businesses. We have been fortunate with only a few cases of COVID-19. Yet, summer brings scads of welcome tourists and the potential of increasing infections. Now is not the time to “whistle past the graveyard,” and become complacent.

Lacking a national leader to unite us with single-minded resolve, keeping our community safe and reopened is now up to us.

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