Those of us who were paying attention to the news when COVID-19 first began to ravage China and Italy knew that if it came here, it could be bad. And back in the day, we could assume that if our federal government handled its business, the crisis could at least be manageable.
But unfortunately, we have an idiot in the Oval Office who got rid of his pandemic response team in 2018 “to save money.” He then exacerbated that boneheaded decision by ignoring his CDC advisors and claiming (along with his conservafool enablers) that COVID-19 is a “hoax” and that it would go away by April.
COVID-19 simply shrugged and said, “Hold my beer.”
Far from going away, COVID-19 has struck the U.S. with a vengeance, infecting tens of thousands of people across the county and killing thousands. In addition, the virus has wreaked havoc on the U.S. economy. The Dow Jones has posted record losses. Bars are closed. Conventions and events are being cancelled. Airlines have been hit hard. Major U.S. carriers like United, which has a major hub in Houston, and Delta have mothballed up to half of their fleets and made major service cuts as people stopped traveling internationally and domestically because of COVID-19.
Restaurants can only do takeout or delivery, and people are urged to stay sheltered at home and work remotely in order to flatten the curve of a virus that promises to hit us much harder before it subsides.
Since many Americans work in the service economy, their jobs that can’t be replicated at home. Unemployment is rising to levels not seen since the 1982 recession.
And unfortunately, something else that is rising is the racist attacks on our Asian neighbors.
You can see an increasingly sharp party-line difference in responses to the COVID-19 crisis. While Democratic governors like New York’s Mario Cuomo, Michigan’s Gretchen Whitmer, Virginia’s Ralph Northam, Kentucky’s Andy Beshear, California’s Gavin Newsom and Washington’s Jay Inslee were fighting to get the federal government to give them the resources they needed last month, Republican governors were twiddling their thumbs and continuing to claim COVID-19 isn’t serious.
Our Texas Republican leadership has been infuriatingly inept in its response to COVID-19, leaving it up to Democratic mayors and county judges in Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, and Houston to lead where the Republicans refuse to do so.
Lt. Governor Dan Patrick opened his mouth (after initial silence on the developing crisis) and said during a FOX Noise interview that grandparents like him are willing to die in order to save the U.S. economy.
Naw, Potty Dan, I’m not willing to see my mother, much less any Texas senior, die of COVID-19 for the economy. If you and your Republican buds feel that strongly about it, then do us a favor and go pack a right-wing evilgelical megachurch on Easter Sunday so you can lead by example.
Too bad his term doesn’t expire until 2022. But when the presidential election happens on November 3, I know what I’m planning to do.
Fire every politician with an (R) behind their name.
This article appears in the April 2020 edition of Outsmart magazine.