Over the past 10 days, we’ve been calling on the President and Mitch McConnell to match the leadership we’ve seen come from the House in fashioning a comprehensive response to the COVID-19 crisis.
The President’s mismanagement of the crisis has been a breathtaking sight. Eight weeks since our first COVID case, and twelve since the President was first briefed about the dangers of COVID, our national testing plan is still not up and running and thus we still can’t identify, isolate, and treat those who’ve been infected by a virus whose carriers are frequently asymptomatic; we have no strategy to build hospital beds/quarantine spaces and ensure that our medical professionals have the equipment they need to care for the sick; critical positions in the federal government’s response hierarchy, like the DHS Secretary, remain unfilled; and leadership is desperately lacking in ensuring that our elections run smoothly this year and in figuring out what to do with all of our kids if schools and summer activities remain closed and unavailable. While the President did finally weigh in on social distancing strategies and closures yesterday, it was days after steps had already been widely implemented across the country and of course inconsistent with the guidance given by the CDC earlier that day.
We urge everyone reading this to call your Senators and Representative every morning until a plan is in place and it is achieving clear, daily reported results. The Senate and House must do more than legislate now — they must create a select committee of some kind to interface with the Administration each day to help expedite decision making, and hold our errant President and his team accountable. The President has already demonstrated that he is not up to the task of leading us through this crisis, and Congress must either adopt some new kind of partnership with him or work to remove him — just allowing his dangerous flailing to continue each day is unacceptable — more can be done.
Yesterday, on a call with the nation’s governors, the President deviated from any reasonable understanding of the Federal Government’s role in a crisis like this and told the governors that when it came to emergency hospital beds, ventilators, masks, and protective equipment for health care workers, they are on their own. A new report says that a US-based company is ready to ramp up ventilator production but hasn’t been asked by the Federal government. The Senate has yet to take up a House bill designed to mitigate some of the economic damage which was endorsed by the President and passed last Friday — because Mitch McConnell decided to give the Senate a long weekend off, in the middle of this extraordinary crisis. McConnell did find time, however, to put the word out to old GOP judges that it is time to retire — so he can ram through dozens more younger judges before, it appears, the Republicans lose power this fall. Always party over country it seems for Moscow Mitch — even in our time of COVID.
We are writing to you each day because the scale of the governing failure we are witnessing just must be more aggressively challenged by all of us. We must rise up and demand more from our elected leaders and our government. To be clear — the nation does not have a COVID-19 response plan. Despite the 8 weeks, the warnings, and the deaths, we still haven’t taken the elemental steps which should have been taken in January to contain and defeat the virus. What is happening now could have been avoided or at least mitigated — which is why we must demand the government act with informed strategic intent and stop making mistakes which will cost this great nation so dearly.
Make your calls. Stay informed. Keep fighting. We can and must do better.