Perspectives: Convoluted Leadership Is Making Bad Times Even Worse; Pros, Cons Of White House Response
Opinion writers weigh in on these pandemic issues and others.
The New York Times:
How To Make The Coronavirus Pandemic Even Worse
Having a pandemic is really bad. Having a pandemic and a civil war together is really, really bad. Welcome to Donald Trump’s America 2020. If you feel dizzy from watching Trump signal left — issuing guidelines for how states should properly emerge from pandemic lockdowns — while turning right — urging people to liberate their states from lockdowns, ignore his own guidelines and even dispute the value of testing — you’re not alone. Since Trump’s pronouncements are simultaneously convoluted, contradictory and dishonest, here’s my guess at what he is saying. (Thomas L. Friedman, 5/10)
The Washington Post:
How The White House Coronavirus Response Presents Us With A False Choice
The coronavirus, to date, has taken the lives of more than 79,000 Americans. One of every 5 U.S. workers has filed for unemployment — with the unemployment rate now the highest since the Great Depression. It is an extraordinary moment — the kind that begs for urgent, steady, empathetic, unifying leadership.But instead of unifying the country to accelerate our public health response and get economic relief to those who need it, President Trump is reverting to a familiar strategy of deflecting blame and dividing Americans. His goal is as obvious as it is craven: He hopes to split the country into dueling camps, casting Democrats as doomsayers hoping to keep America grounded and Republicans as freedom fighters trying to liberate the economy. (Joe Biden, 5/11)
Coronavirus Reopening – Democrats Resist, Americans Persist.
Can you feel it? Can you feel the pace quickening? More cars on the road, more people in the stores, more ads crowding your inbox. Activity is picking up, even in my state of New York, where we’re still under lockdown. It’s palpable; Americans everywhere are going back to work. Democrats don’t like that one little bit. The worse things are, the better their chances in November. (Liz Peek, 5/11)
The Washington Post:
Six Flaws In The Arguments For Reopening
Most states are reopening to some degree this week, even as public-health experts warn that it’s too soon. Proponents of early reopening use some variation of six arguments. Here is what’s wrong with each of them: Instead of preventing covid-19, we should let people infect each other to achieve herd immunity. “Herd immunity” occurs when enough people in a community — generally 60 percent to 80 percent — develop antibodies to an illness, either through vaccination or recovery. (Leana S. Wen, 5/10)
Trump's Message On Opening Contradicted By White House Covid Cases
The White House Covid-19 outbreak is undermining President Donald Trump's narrative that it's safe to open up the country and that diagnostic testing is of limited importance. The news of three top health officials, all members of the administration's coronavirus task force, self-quarantining in some form after one of Trump's valets and another West Wing aide tested positive is jarring alongside Trump's desire to move on from the pandemic and to concentrate on the staggering economic dimension of the crisis. The latest developments pose an essential question: If people around Trump are not protected from the virus in the most highly secured workplace in the country, how can it be safe for anyone else to go back to work? (Stephen Collinson, 5/11)
Are Americans Ready To Return To Normal As States Move To Reopen?
States across the country have started the first stages of reopening, but are Americans ready to resume the “normal” activities taken for granted before the coronavirus? That is the exact question that my firm looked to answer in a recent survey to understand public perceptions and behavior surrounding the pandemic. We found that Americans are not quite ready to return to normal just yet. Indeed, 30 percent of adults polled say that, even after the stay home orders are lifted, they would remain in isolation. Furthermore, a significant majority of Americans say that they prioritize protecting public health above reopening the economy. (Douglas Schoen, 5/10)
St. Louis Post Dispatch:
The Virus Has Reached The White House. Now Will Trump Take It Seriously?
Like a close brush with a potential assassin, President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence experienced firsthand the extreme dangers of the coronavirus pandemic after aides to each of them tested positive for the disease late last week. In Trump’s case, the aide was a personal valet, someone who had been in very close contact with the president. For Pence, the aide was his press secretary, prompting at least some of his staffers to exit the vice president’s plane Friday because they had come in contact with her. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention has issued a wide range of protocols that all Americans should follow in this pandemic, including observing a 14-day quarantine after being exposed and, of course, wearing face masks in public to prevent transmission. (5/9)
Three Traps For The Unwary In HHS' Provider Relief Fund
In its rush to offer a lifeline to U.S. health care providers struggling under the crushing financial impact of the Covid-19 crisis, the federal government has unleashed a provider relief package that may do more harm than good. The problem? A flawed distribution process that has already resulted in the improper distribution of $30 billion through automated direct deposits, setting unwary providers up for a legal quagmire. (Mark Hedberg, James Pinna and Sean O'Connell, 5/11)
Los Angeles Times:
California Lucky To Have Gavin Newsom Coronavirus Leadership
It has become a pandemic staple: Every day at noon, Gov. Gavin Newsom stands before a camera, usually in the state’s emergency operations center, for a digital-age version of the fireside chat. In his trademark stream-of-consciousness style, Newsom delivers an overview of the coronavirus’ effects on the Golden State to thousands of people watching on social media or tuning in on TV. He gives the grim tally of confirmed COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths, outlines the latest steps by state government to help Californians cope, and assesses what’s going on in the state that day. The governor uses no script during these daily briefings, riffing extemporaneously as if he’s live-streaming all the data, facts and figures he’s absorbed over the last 24 hours of meetings and reports. More often than not, he breaks a bit of news. (5/10)
Cleveland Plain Dealer:
Larry Householder’s Defiant, Confrontational Approach On Coronavirus Strategy Raises The Risks As Ohio Reopens
rGov. Mike DeWine came out swinging Thursday when asked about House Republicans’ rebellious efforts to override state health mandates. The usually laid-back, folksy Ohio governor was uncharacteristically vehement in leaving no doubt that he would veto the House amendment -- or any similar measure -- that might get to his desk. “Any bill or any attempt that gets in the way of our ability to protect the people of the state of Ohio is a bill that I will be forced to veto to protect the people of the state of Ohio,” DeWine said. (5/10)
Detroit Free Press:
Blanchard: Recovery Hinges On Federal Support For Mayors, Governors
By now we all know that Harry Truman’s old desk sign, “The buck stops here,” is not Donald Trump’s motto for leadership. “Pass the buck to anyone and everyone” is Mr. Trump’s standard practice.Fortunately, in addition to our health care experts and scientists, we have our nation’s governors to thank for their leadership during this incredibly challenging covid-19 crisis. Governors of both parties. They may have different philosophies and styles and come from different regions, but they deserve our respect. That’s why governors across the country are receiving higher approval ratings from the public on their handling of the crisis, around 75%—the president is receiving 47%. (James Blanchard, 5/7)