Sorry if I have to break the news to those with their head in the sand. The “novel” coronavirus is the story right now. Last week in our poll, we asked readers’ initial opinions about the coronavirus outbreak and how worried they were showed that we Buckeyes are not a panicky bunch, with the clear majority – 55.6 percent – saying they were not very worried.
The second leading answer was “somewhat worried but mostly about the economy.” Personally, I voted in the minority. Although I liked the economy part, I must confess to being a scaredy cat and voting for the last place answer: very worried – “rapid spread cannot be contained and many will die.” Actually, I would go so far to say that I am worried about both the virus and the economy.
Naturally, operating a business I worry about the economy maybe more than the average guy. Being at retirement age with savings in a 401K will do that to you, as well. But one of my most addictive habits is also the cause of my concern ... I am always touching my face! So you will see I have been finding cartoons on the subject that hit home with me.
As for the politics of it all, I selected Jonah Golberg as the writer for our national guest column this week. Although a conservative, Goldberg is not afraid to tell the president when he is wrong. I like that about him and, in this column, he does just that. It is justly critical of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus threat.
Let me go up on my soapbox here, too. Donald Trump did not cause this virus. In fact, he should be commended for trying to keep it out of this country. But did anybody ever really think that alone would work? I just figured he was buying time to get our own testing abilities up to speed.
But we blew it. The first tests produced by the government turned out to be flawed. You could make the case that, being a Republican, Trump should have outsourced it from the get-go to private labs. Still, I can’t really blame him alone for that one. Hindsight is 20/20, after all.
Further, he didn’t actually say it was all a hoax. He did kind of imply it, though, which was not a good move. I also cut him some slack for trying to keep people from panicking. That’s what presidents are supposed to do. What I fault him for is opening his trap so much in the first place. He should have let his medical experts do the talking.
Sure, a worldwide pandemic – let’s call it what it is – was bad timing for the president. He probably was on his way to re-election on the strength of an economy that, yes, he deserves most of the credit for. I actually think the American public knows that.
More than on just the economy, the president needs to give the country confidence that he will lead us through this real threat, both to our economy and our health. Stop all the BS. Stop the tweets. Lead by example, Mr. President. This will be your defining moment. Show America that you are indeed up to the challenge!
Our Post reader poll for the week asks: “Do you believe that President Trump is up to the task of leading the country through this threat to both our health and economy caused by the novel coronavirus?” Yes, his bold leadership is just what the doctor ordered; (or) No, he is not the man for the job.