IT’S a very sad day when a dreaded scourge that has brought so much harm and death to a nation, as well as anxiety to people in many other parts of the globe, has become instead the cause of more animosities in the already politically divided USA.
As of this writing COVID-19, the official designation of the recent strain of coronavirus has infected some 90,000 people and caused 3,000 deaths, the vast majority of them in China. Six Americans died among 100 cases nationwide, according to reports.
Certainly, every human life is valuable, each death a cause for sorrow. Realistically, however, the numbers pale in a nation of more than 300 million. Additionally, the US has the best doctors and health care system anywhere.
In a situation like this, it is important for the leader of a nation to strive to prevent exaggerated apprehensions among the people while overseeing measures that could mitigate possible confusion and even chaos if and when, God forbids, the disease advances to the pandemic stage and really gets hold on the wellbeing of the general populace.
However, right on cue, the political opposition seized on unfounded fears to such an extent as to promote incredulity. When the President seeks to allay misinformation and encourages calmness, the Democrats and their allied socialists as well as the mainstream media accused him of not taking the threat seriously. His decision to bar entrance to foreigners who had been to China, undeniably the source of the disease and where most of the deaths and suffering emanate, within the past 14 days triggered the resistance to bully him some more. President Trump said he had to harden the US borders to prevent the virus from gaining a bigger foothold here and these detractors got back to him with their favorite, allweather smear: The president is supposedly xenophobic or racist. Damn if he does anything; damn if he doesn’t.
It has always been this way. Still smarting from the grand beating they received in the presidential polls more than three years ago, the Democrats and their allies have besieged Trump at every turn. The mud kept coming on in the faint expectation that some dirt would stick somehow, sometime. After the Russian collusion then Ukraine schemes that progressed further into a kangaroo style house investigation and impeachment proceedings.
Now the unhinged antiTrump movement seeks to “weaponize” the coronavirus scare. Somewhere in the media someone even proposed the word “Trumpvirus” to describe the disease. This prompted the president to describe their recent attempt to malign him as the new hoax. In turn, they’re now falsely accusing Trump of referring to the coronavirus as a “hoax.” In the words of Fox’s primetime host Sean Hannity, the Democrats have resorted to the use of “natural fear of a virus as a political weapon.”
The so-called neverTrumpers have become adept at transforming almost anything to help their prospects in the fast-approaching elections. They denigrate the President, accusing him of not raising the alarm at the first sign of the threat. They criticized that Vice President Mike Pence is not qualified to be co-coordinator with Dr. Deborah L. Birx in the White coronavirus task force. They neglect to mention that during the past administration when they were the majority, it took then-president Obama more than six months to declare a national emergency on the H1N1 (swine flu) pandemic. By that time, “millions of people in the United States had been infected, at least 20,000 hospitalized and more than 1,000 had died,” according to a CNN report attributing the statement to Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In comparison, it took just days for Trump to act decisively after the World Health Organization made known that scientists in China had isolated this new coronavirus strain from patients.