Politics and COVID-19

Politics and COVID-19

By Robert Scott

All writers in Op Ed are here to inform and acknowledge issues of importance to our communities, however these writings represent the views  and opinions of the authors and not necessarily of The Advertiser. 

I was looking through the columns I’ve written for The Edgefield Advertiser over the past year and ran across one that ran the first week of March. Its title was “Immigrants and the Coronavirus,” and was about recent statements by President Trump regarding the virus. We were safe from it, he said, because of the way he and his administration had secured our borders. He was talking about the sections of the border wall with Mexico that has just been completed as well as the travel ban from China that affected everybody except American citizens in returning from that country. “One certainty,” that column said, “is that President Trump will make so many predictions that among the many wrong ones, a lonesome right prediction will be hiding. And it is almost certainly one being stated first not by the President but by ‘deep state’ research scientists and physicians with experience and knowledge about epidemiology who … actually know what they are talking about.”

This week, six months later, it has come out that President Trump did, indeed, know how deadly COVID-19 was, how rapidly it was predicted (correctly) to spread, and that the methods then being imposed in Europe and in China were the only way to mitigate the spread within the United States. But those truths would not align with President Trump’s political message, so he did not state them; in fact, he continued to state the opposite, knowingly misrepresenting the science behind the pandemic, and not taking those initial steps other countries took that resulted in much lower casualties than we have had. To put the case more bluntly, President Trump lied to us. And this time, there are audio tapes that confirm that he knew one thing and shared it with those in his inner circle (including, surely to his regret, with reporter Bob Woodward of the Washington Post), while publically stating something else entirely. As a result, our nation, which strives to be the “shining city on the hill” that President Reagan and others have described as our goal, has more proven deaths from COVID-19 than any other nation on earth. As of this week, we have two hundred thousand Americans dead. Every two weeks, more Americans are dying from COVID-19 than were killed by terrorists on September 11, 2001, whose nineteenth anniversary we just recognized.

This pandemic will eventually end, regardless of what we do right or what we do wrong. But there is a difference between those two, and the difference would save thousands of American lives. We need to do what is right, scientifically and medically, rather than politically.. This election season we have to look at what politicians are saying about COVID-19 and what scientists are saying about COVID-19, and believe the scientists. Those politicians, including President Trump, who have willfully misrepresented facts in the past, can be relied on to do the same in the future – especially in the near future, as the November election draws nearer.

Are you registered to vote? Do you plan to vote for science and truth, or for politics and wishful thinking? These are questions we must each ask ourselves, and ask one another, this season. Be well, be safe, take appropriate precautions for yourselves and your families, and above all – Vote!

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