Viewpoints: Denial Is Only Going To Make Things Much Worse; Coping Doesn’t Mean Locking Down Again
Editorial pages focus on these pandemic topics and others.
Los Angeles Times:
Pretending Coronavirus Doesn't Exist Won't Make It Go Away
The U.S. stumbled badly at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic when it came to testing. So few test kits were available, officials couldn’t keep up with the infections emerging across their communities. And with no way of knowing where or how much the virus was spreading in their states, governors were forced to take drastic measures, most notably ordering people to stay home lest individuals with the disease overwhelm the healthcare system and die in numbers not seen since the 1918 flu pandemic.The devastating consequences of those decisions will reverberate for years. And everyone agrees that we cannot afford to return to such a dark time. But as COVID-19 roars back in record numbers, that’s starting to seem like a very real, and terrifying, possibility.So it’s bewildering that the federal government would even consider pulling funding and support for 13 federally financed COVID-19 testing sites in five states next week. (6/25)
The New York Times:
The Coronavirus Is Still Raging. Trump Remains In Denial.
More than 100 days into the coronavirus pandemic, here’s where things stand in the United States: 2.3 million people have been infected, and some 120,000 people — more than in any other country — have died. Early epicenters like New York and New Jersey appear to have gotten their outbreaks under control, but several new hot spots have emerged, including in Florida, Texas and Arizona, where daily case counts are higher than ever. Over all, the number of new cases a day is rising, and the rest of the world is taking note: The European Union is mulling travel restrictions that would prohibit Americans from entering any nation in the bloc because the United States has failed to contain the pandemic. (6/23)
The Wall Street Journal:
Coping With Covid-19
Fears of a resurgence of the novel coronavirus are dominating the news and spooking financial markets. The flare-ups bear watching, and preparing for, but the original lockdowns were never going to eradicate the virus short of unacceptable economic pain. The unhappy but inevitable truth is that Americans will have to learn to cope with the virus, which means trial and error and more individual responsibility. There’s no denying the flare-ups, even if some in the media almost seem to enjoy the rise in cases and hospitalizations in Arizona, Florida, Texas and other hot spots in the South and West. Hospitalizations in Texas have doubled in two weeks and increased more than four-fold in San Antonio and the lower Rio Grande Valley. Cases in Harris County hospitals around Houston have doubled in a week. (6/24)
What Leaders Can Learn From Napoleon's Pandemic Politics
Some leaders use pandemics and other crises to advance themselves and their own ends. Others rise to the challenges of epidemics and act wisely in the best interests of the people they serve, or at least seek to help their people while also benefiting themselves. Take Napoleon Bonaparte as an example of a leader who trod both of these paths. (Robert Klitzman, 6/25)
The New York Times:
Can We Call Trump A Killer?
The coronavirus pandemic is still raging in this country. In fact, in more than 20 states, the number of cases is rising. More than 120,000 Americans have died from the virus. This country has a quarter of all the cases in the world even though it makes up only 4 percent of the world population. Things are so bad here that the European Union, which has lowered its rates, is considering banning U.S. citizens when it reopens its borders. This situation is abysmal, and it would not have been so bad if President Trump had not intentionally neglected his duty to protect American citizens. (Charles M. Blow, 6/24)
Greatest Generation Sacrificed Food, Fuel, Lives. We Can Wear A Damn Mask, Texas.
In the first days after the attack on Pearl Harbor crippled the U.S. Navy and killed 2,403 men, women and children, U.S. military recruiting stations were suddenly swamped. An office in Birmingham, Ala., alone signed up more than 600 volunteers within hours of the news becoming public. Over the next four years — from December 1941 to September 1945 — 16 million Americans would go off to war, including more than 407,000 who never made it back. And it wasn’t just the soldiers who served. Those back home ate leftovers and planted victory gardens to make sure there was enough food to feed the troops. They bought more than $180 billion in war bonds and launched drives to scrounge scrap metal and rubber to build weapons and equipment. They volunteered as civil defense wardens. (6/24)
Coronavirus Contact Tracing Apps Aren’t Worth The Health Risk To Black And Latinx People
Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, nonemergency police calls reporting social distancing violations have increased in cities like Boston, New York, and Chicago, with police calls and stops disproportionately made in Black communities. In New York City, more than 90 percent of the people arrested and 82 percent of those who received summonses for violating social distancing rules were Black or Latinx. Unfortunately, contact tracing apps stand to exacerbate this type of police enforcement of social distancing and could incentivize app users or employers to seek retribution and call the police after getting an exposure notification. (Nicole Triplett, 6/24)
The New York Times:
Trump Is Feeding America’s Coronavirus Nightmare
President Trump says the coronavirus is “fading away” and pats himself on the back for “a great job on CoronaVirus” that saved “millions of U.S. lives.”“It’s going away,” Trump said Tuesday at a packed megachurch in Phoenix where few people wore masks. That’s what delusion sounds like. We need a Churchill to lead our nation against a deadly challenge; instead, we have a president who helps an enemy virus infiltrate our churches and homes. Churchill and Roosevelt worked to deceive the enemy; Trump is trying to deceive us. (Nicholas Kristof, 6/24)
Arizona Daily Star:
Trump's Lack Of Empathy Is Pathological
Picture, if you will, four Russian nesting dolls, each roosting inside another. Imagine the largest figurine is of President Donald Trump, and gestating inside are dolls representing the civil rights crisis, inside a financial disaster, inside the coronavirus pandemic. All of these calamities, in my opinion, are made worse than they should have been by Trump's ill temper, keen self-interest and inability to show empathy for others. Why? Because the president suffers from low emotional intelligence, or EQ.Yes, there is such a thing, and it's the subject of a course I teach at the University of California, Riverside Extension. The foundation for my class is the research of psychologist and science journalist Daniel Goleman. EQ, as he explains it, is a measure of a person's ability to perceive, control, evaluate, express and control their emotions. Such leaders are "resonant." (Bill Ballas, 6/25)
Pioneering A Coronavirus Vaccine Through Massachusetts Innovation
State and health care leaders have done a tremendous job confronting the coronavirus pandemic and getting the state to a point where it can safely and slowly reopen the economy. Yet the future is still uncertain. Will the data continue to improve? Will there be another surge of COVID-19 infections in the fall? There are many questions that require more near-term planning, but the state’s foresight cannot stop there. (Bob Coughlin and Steve Walsh, 6/23)
Tampa Bay Times:
Hillsborough County’s Reckless Plan To Hold High School Graduations
The Hillsborough County School District is putting the entire region at risk by proceeding with its reckless plan to hold high school graduations. With the coronavirus spreading across Tampa Bay, and cases surging in Florida, there’s no idea more irresponsible than herding thousands of people to an indoor event. It is unconscionable that district leaders and elected School Board members are even considering this endangerment to public health and the region’s health-care system. (6/24)