Don’t let partisan politics, back-and-forth bickering get in way of effective Covid-19 response

Posted 29 April 2020 at 1:52 pm


Apparently, the largest public health crisis in over 100 years is the prime opportunity to attack the opposing political party over the mishandling of a slew of other unrelated issues. I will admit, however, that I got a good chuckle out of the “Dear Leader” letter that Mr. Lauricella penned on April 22nd. It sounded like propaganda that typically originates in the DPRK.

We are living in a kakistocracy, a system of government that is led by the worst, least qualified, and most unscrupulous citizens. The critique is not limited to Democrats nor Republicans but spans the political spectrum in an era where corruption has become the norm.

In fact, it would be quite easy to argue that we are living, once again, through a Gilded Age with an exploited working class, excessive wealth inequalities, extreme partisanship, and raging anti-immigrant sentiment. Perhaps this is what “Dear Leader” promised when he would “Make America Great Again?” Perhaps that is why Andrew Cuomo said, “America was never that great?”

Over the last few weeks, writers have attacked one another over the apparent successes and failures of President Trump and Governor Cuomo. The President spent the earliest months of this ballooning worldwide public health crisis downplaying the potential severity of a future outbreak in the U.S.

While the intelligence community attempted to brief him on the spread of the virus in China and other parts of the globe, he seemed preoccupied by vaping and the need to keep confirmed cases low to pad his polling numbers. Apparently, the intelligence briefings were concerning enough for Richard Burr, Kelly Loeffler and others (including Democrats – I’m looking at you, Dianne Feinstein) to dump millions of dollars’ worth of stock shares; Loeffler of course purchased shares in a company that manufactures PPE.

I suppose this is all “Fake News,” right? A simple, cheesy catchphrase that has lost all meaning in a society which so easily shares true misinformation vis social media. Instead of answering questions, Trump criticizes media outlets, flags inquiries as “nasty questions,” and continues to blame a previous administration that left the White House nearly 4 years ago.

I will agree with Mr. Lauricella that “Gov. Cuomo post virus will continue to be a failure to this state,” and that “The Democrats in the House and Senate like Cuomo have been a disgraceful, anti-American failure.” The same should be said for Republicans in the House (and particularly the Senate), and our “Dear Leader” in the White House.

Congress dumped $1.5 trillion into shoring up a falling stock market – how is your 401k now? The average American received (or should have received) a piddly $1,200 stimulus check, littered with means testing, while the “Foreclosure King” got his $500 billion slush fund to dish out to corporations. Yet somehow, we cannot find funding to ramp up testing, tackle the ballooning student debt issue, or address massive healthcare disparities when millions have lost coverage due to sweeping unemployment. God forbid we engage in a discussion about Universal Basic Income when state governments cannot straighten out their unemployment systems.

These back-and-forth arguments continue to distract Americans from the true issue at hand. COVID-19 has exposed massive failures in society, but will we choose to remedy the problems, or will we continue to allow partisan politics to turn us against one another?

Matthew Ballard