Leadership, the economy & COVID

Kevin Cook, Manco - 05/21/2020

To the editor,

Absolutely. We must do what we can to wisely revive our economy in these difficult times. At bare minimum, we need some plan to do this. At a recent Presidential COVID Taskforce press conference, a set of guidelines on how states should go about this was presented. Leave aside for the moment whether these were adequate guidelines. This is, or was, the closest thing we’ve had to any official national plan.

Shortly after this, several states actualized their own plans for their economies to become more open. None of them met the guidelines laid out in the previously mentioned plans. In spite of this, our president applauded the efforts of those states and encouraged more states to follow their lead.

The President nixed his panel’s plan, not by any pronouncement of their shortcomings or by the replacement of the guidelines by ones thought to be improved. He simply ignored his own guidelines and encouraged others to do the same. Chaos. And very much the same lack of leadership that we’ve seen since first it was reported that COVID-19 could be a big, big problem.

We must not ignore the economy or the virus. A national plan for returning business as close to normal as possible is essential. As most plans that deal with crises must, our plans should be revised as we learn better how to deal with things. Region by region we have been left to ourselves. Any private, pubic or semi-private effort that has in any way been successful is claimed as a success by the President and his COVID Task Force, just as if they were behind it all. What we have, in fact, is no coherent national plan at all. And that, my fellow Americans, our president is behind. Regardless of his disclaimers and his frequent attempts to shift blame, the President is responsible. Failing to lead he must get out of the way.