America is gripped in the horror of a major biological catastrophe and it is time to unite as one people and throw away political ideologies to combat and vanquish the dirty little bug that threatens the world.
Of course I am referring to the current outbreak of Coronavirus. As bad as it is, the potential for disaster is what has gripped the America psyche. We watched the American stock exchanges melt down last week with the Coronavirus being blamed as a major component for the slide. The fear of the virus has gripped America and the rest of the world. And even though it is very dangerous, many in America are over reacting and taking extraordinary measures to protect themselves.
Face masks that you see the Doctors wearing on all the medical shows on television are now at a premium. Many stores have sold out of these protection masks. Unfortunately, unscrupulous suppliers are taking advantage of the American public and are selling masks at greatly inflated prices. As one television stated, “There is a small corner of hell reserved for people like this”. Fortunately the masks are available in bulk from on-line stores. Amazon has seven pages of surgical masks with prices ranging from very low to very high.
Today America has taken some bold measures to prevent the virus from entering the country and thus keeping America safe. If a person is not an American citizen and is traveling from China, he is barred from entering the United States. The Center for Disease Control has pulled out all stops to keep America safe to include test kits to identify the virus and provide education for the public health professionals. Americans repatriated from China are placed in forced quarantine. The president has assigned Vice President Pence to oversee America’s response to the virus. This is not just the CDC’s work. This would include all aspects of the virus to include supply channels and communication to an anxious public.
The president has asked for 2.8 billion dollars following the recommendation from the CDC. Congress has said that it is prepared to ask for 8 billion dollars.
When America goes to war it is a unified effort. Congress aligns with the Executive Branch of the government and is in lock step with the President of the United States. Today we are preparing for war; a war against microscopic bugs and not men with guns. The call-to-arms is the same and the most important aspect of this mobilization is that we work as a single entity. There is no place for back biting, posturizing or political positioning. The only posturing that needs to take place is to be an American.
We hear from both sides of the aisle that we must put politics aside. Unfortunately, both sides are taking snipes. President Trump blames the Democrats about sensationalizing the problem while Chuck Schumer claims the White House is not in control since they are not asking for enough funds to fight the virus. Schumer has misrepresented the money requested by the White House as too little and thus the White House does not take the matter seriously. In fact the President stated several days earlier that if congress wanted to provide additional funding he would gladly accept it. The administration has been criticized for assigning Vice President Pence to head the Coronavirus response by the United States. In fact, the leader of this task force needs to be a manager and above all, a leader. Very few hospital administrators are doctors; however, the hospitals are well organized and well run in America. When SARS reared its ugly head in 2002, it was not a leader from the medical field that led America’s effort. It was an American lawyer assigned by President Bush to manage the SARS epidemic. Mike Pence is a very qualified and able-bodied leader that deserves the respect of congress to get this epidemic under control. He does not need to be second-guessed and capital hill does not need to twist this appointment into another political travesty.
The important thing for America to do is to get politics out of our political system and become Americans first. We need to be observant but not over emotional. Use good common sense and don’t overreact. The press needs to look at what is happening and report on the facts but do not pick up on every word and then scrutinize the speech while missing the key points that are being communicated.
Let’s pull this together America.
Tuffy Fields may be reached by emailing thelouisianaexplorer@ yahoo.com.