Letter to the editor: Ego-driven ineptitude of Trump has led to wider exposure | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: Ego-driven ineptitude of Trump has led to wider exposure

Rabbi Joel R. Schwartzman

Some weeks ago, I wrote a letter to the Summit Daily News warning that we all had better take the coronavirus seriously. Perhaps I should have sent a copy to the White House. Having gutted the very agency that President Barack Obama had created that was to deal with pandemics such as Ebola and now this latest scourge, President Donald Trump literally hamstrung this nation’s ability to respond because, for one major result, there weren’t enough tests stockpiled to determine the extent to which this virus now has spread.

Now we find ourselves in a situation where doctors and hospitals are having to triage those whose symptoms indicate that they might have contracted the disease. The elderly who have a greater chance of dying from COVID-19 seem to be getting priority for testing when, if the nation’s self-proclaimed medical expert, Donald Trump, hadn’t completely dropped this ball, we as a country wouldn’t now be as vulnerable to the massive market panic, shutdowns, cancellations, empty grocery store shelves and deep disruptions in our lives that we either are now experiencing or soon will.

Amid all the hype, disinformation and mudslinging that goes with our national elections, I wonder if the American voter will remember the ego-driven ineptitude that has led to our wider national exposure to this epidemic. If the economy tanks as badly as the stock market, Trump can resort to conspiracy theories that its all the Democrats’ fault and that no one could foresee the coming of this virus. But to the degree that Trump’s very own screw-up has exposed all Americans to a far worse situation than it either needed to be or might have been, they ought to hold him responsible. As Harry Truman astutely remarked, “The buck stops at the president’s desk.” This buck’s medical, economic and leadership flaws surely do, as well.

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