President Donald Trump recently declared himself to be a “wartime president.” A wartime president leads, seeks to bring the nation together, helps coordinate the allocation of the nation’s full resources to fight the threat and works with local leaders to provide the tools they need to deal with the problem. By any objective measure, Trump has failed to provide the leadership Americans have a right to expect.
The United States makes up about 4% to 5% of the world’s population, yet we are experiencing about 30% of the total cases and deaths from COVID-19. Trump’s delay in recognizing the seriousness of the pandemic is certainly contributory, but more serious is his refusal to fully implement the Defense Production Act, which would direct the full capability of the nation’s industry to provide the test kits, ventilators and protection equipment needed by our health care workers. While the incidence of COVID-19 seems to be leveling off in some urban areas, rural America is increasingly vulnerable. For example, The Washington Postrecently reported an alarming increase of cases in rural communities. The University of Nebraska Medical Center, which is dealing with many rural cases, reports a lack of test kits and protective equipment needed to help deal with the problem. This flies in the face of Trump’s claim that anyone can get a test if they want it.
We don’t need a president that fails to muster the nation’s resources against the disease which threatens us all.