What Would You Do? Covid-19 Edition

June 26, 2020

What Would You Do? Covid-19 Edition


Mark Rubin

On Facebook the other day, I engaged in a conversation about masks. I know, I know, I seem bright enough. But, sometimes I’m not!

Anyway, after a discussion with some moderately reasonable But Freedom types, one said: Well, what would you do? Stay tuned, I wrote, thinking I could never express myself adequately in a FB post.

I suspect my inquisitor wanted something simple, which he could knock down quickly. (A few days ago, intemperately, I called out a new business group for kvelling about a kickoff event sans masks or distancing. “You are pathetic,” said one fellow. Blocked.)

So, what would I do? To answer, I must discuss what I would have done. Nobody should have to solve for the steaming mess of caca our POTUS created, without having an opportunity to address his many eff-ups.

First, I would listen to experts. Scientists know more about science than Donald Trump. More, even, than Jared the Wiz Kid.

Second, with experts advising me about the health issues, I would use the bully pulpit to rally the nation behind the cause. I’d read up on Churchill and King George VI. I would invite the remaining members of the FDR clan to the White House. I would do PSAs. In short, I would use the pandemic to bring the nation together.

Third, I would get my econ team to come up with a plan to maintain the nation on life support. I would tell anyone who slams working people “the door is over there, and don’t let it hit your ass on the way out.” I would enlist a team of prosecutors to go after profiteers and fraudsters, and make sure my own supporters get equal prosecutorial attention.

Finally, I would remind the rest of the world, every day, that America leads, in a just and modest way. I would offer assistance and have our nation join the rest of the world as we attend to the novel Coronavirus. The virus knows nothing about anyone, and we survive only if we assume it attacks individuals on a random basis.

(Of course, long before we knew about the virus, I would have continued and increased funding for pandemic preparation, for those scientists – the one I mentioned a few sentences ago – have been telling us for a decade or more to expect exactly what faces us.)

So, to the fellow who asked me what I would do, you’ve got my answer. But, there’s a little bit more. Donald Trump does not own the virus, but he owns our response. A known fraudster who gave no one any reason to think he could serve in a marginally competent way got elected because a few too many people in the wrong places voted for him. But let’s not forget the fact that he won the R nomination going away, which means way too many Republicans chose him.

Oh, but what about But Hillary, some say? Sure, she messed up her email thing. Et tu Ivanka! And yes, faults abound with her and Bubba. OMG, though, her faults do not include a lack of competency or a lack of appreciation for making government work for people.

We can hope for change come January. But, we must act to make sure we don’t waste this tragic moment. Vote for Joe, and throw this bum out on his keester!

2 Responses to What Would You Do? Covid-19 Edition

  • I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.

    George Bernard Shaw

    That being said, I have found that there are some that actually will engage in a debate and might listen, but they are few and far apart. I think the one thing I would have added to your policy is to bring in a strong consensus builder to the White House to lead the process and really worked to get the right answer. Like JFK during the Cuban Missile Crisis. “Blockade, hm, that is an interesting idea.” With a leader to use the scientific method to try to predict each phase and the probability of each phase, then you could have a path. Think about if the CDC (and the WHO, but focus on the CDC) from the start said, “Look, we are not 100% sure about the efficacy of masks (homemade masks at this point if you remember since we had little PPE), but let’s wear them.” It would have been patriotic to do so and I bet that the peak would have been a lot smaller at first. I know a famous business text talks about “Ready, Fire, Aim,” and Nike says, “Just Do It,” but we really needed to be doing something and quickly. I remember hearing podcasts in very early January talking about a close to a 1% decrease in China’s GDP. If I had taken some financial action as it was obvious that not only was the number going to be higher because the China government likes to save face, but that it would effect us (USA) economically, then I would be a happier camper for sure. I am sure the Feds understood that in January. Further, taken to its natural conclusion, the disease was going to get here. We could have stopped it. Not necessarily with just taking temperatures, stopping all incoming flights or quarantines of incoming passengers, but with a combination. Citizens are just looking for someone to trust. Who did we ultimately trust? Birx, not really. Trump, nope. Ducey, well he had a good start and then fizzled. DiBlasio, nope. It has only been Faucci (on a mass market basis). Why? Because he answers every question, honestly when allowed and will talk to any reporter any time. Now Faucci does not walk on water. I know that he has tripped up in other potential virus fighting efforts, but we will accept someone who makes mistakes. The old saw is, “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” Faucci feels genuine. I am sure someone will say, “Where’s Cuomo?” Well, he has finished strong. From the Frontline special on PBS, it is clear that NY got off to a slow start and a little earlier start would have meant the world. You and I both have offspring and their spouses in NY, so it is much closer to us. Overall, I am much happier that Cuomo is there leading NY than any other major leader, but I am not swooning for him to be the next President. He could earn that. Anyway, back to the issue at hand. I think your answer was great, but if it wears a red hat, refuses to don a mask, can’t string 5 words together, or has that look, don’t put on that wrestling singlet, but run the other way. Even if you could convert him/her (and you can’t), there is not enough soap and shower water.

    • Well said, old friend! Along with your addition I wish I had added – and, hey, I still can – expressing uncertainty. Amazing it is what humility can add to the mix.

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