Behavior during pandemic angers

By SUE HARMON,

To the Editor:

This morning I arose early to observe the happenings in the county.  The parking lots were full at the grocery stores.  I watched with a sense of anger the panic before my eyes.  Trump should have been honest with the nation from the start.  Yet, he chose not to do so.   He had been made aware October 2019 of what would happen should there be a virus outbreak in the USA.  This report came from the Crimson Contagion exercise that was run in 12 states from January -August of 2019.  Trump took no action to prepare the nation.  Today he is even slow walking the aid to the states.  People are dying.  I pause to wonder the mindset it takes to set people up to die a horrible death.

Trump, enabled by Republicans and people fearful of losing a paycheck, hobbled the CDC and NIH to keep both entities from fulfilling their mission statements.  All information given to the public has to be approved by Pence. Pence will only release information if it does not contradict anything Trump has said.  Trump at a rally in South Carolina on the 28th of February stated COVID-19 was a hoax by the Democratic Party.  There were many people at that rally.  Tate Reeves obviously believed Trump’s words for he took his family to Europe (Paris and Spain) for a soccer match for one of his daughters.  COVID-19 first case confirmed in France on 24th of January.   COVID-19 first case confirmed in Spain on 31st of January. His family barely made it back to Mississippi via private airplane from New York before Trump’s European travel ban went into effect.  Trump’s lies and delays will kill us all.

January 2020 the World Health Organization offered COVID-19 test developed by German scientists to countries around the world, 60 countries accepted.  We were not one of those countries.  As I write this piece, we currently do not have enough test kits to develop proper isolation plans. Yet earlier this week, Tate Reeves, parroting Trump, stated we have all the test kits we need but would have to prioritize who was tested.  Translation of the double talk is we do not have enough test kits.  Failure to test asymptomatic persons will allow the disease to spread faster.  We are now having reports of our healthcare professionals becoming ill due to a shortage in basic medical supplies (e.g. gloves and masks).  It is amazing Alex Azar, Secretary of Health and Human Services, stated with pride Trump would not access the Strategic National Stockpile to help the states.   He stated the stockpile was for things such as hurricanes.  Remember we didn’t use the stockpile for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.  Trump threw paper towel to the people.  What will he throw to those of us on the mainland?   The mission statement for the Strategic National Stockpile: With approximately 200 federal and contract employees, the Strategic National Stockpile is organized to support any public health threat. Stockpile staff represent a variety of specialties, and all work together to ensure the right resources are ready and can get to the right place at the right time.

I have many questions in regards to Trump’s handling of COVID-19 response.  Thus far he has denied, lied, and delayed information and supplies in response.  The Defense Production Act has been invoked yet has not employed it in regards to producing medical supplies and equipment needed.  Why?  The initial response to COVID-19 was “tax cut”.  Show to me in one medical text where tax cut cured any illness.  A payroll tax cut would give $10/wk for most in Mississippi.  Around the 24th of January Republicans in the Senate attended a briefing.  They were made aware of how serious things were during that briefing.  We now know Loeffler, Burr, and Johnson made stock trades based on information they were given during that briefing.  These same senators continued to assure the America public all was well.  When trump stated on February 28th COVID-19 was a hoax by the Democratic Party not one of those senators contradicted Trump’s words. 

As I watched people in the early morning hours shopping at Walmart, getting what was left, I felt an anger. An anger over the fact things didn’t have to be this way.  May God keep us and may we keep one another.  Washing hands and love will see us through it all.  Stay well and blessed. 

Sue Harmon

Kosciusko, MS