In government, politics has become the main event, doing the actual work is a distraction. Governing responsibly and effectively has become Washington’s side-gig. Even now, politicians angle for advantage and try to attain objectives they have been unable to achieve under non-crisis circumstances. As a result, we have been caught flat-footed by COVID-19, how much better prepared could we have been if government focused on it’s work?
The problems we are experiencing regarding preparation and implementation were foreseen, but never actually addressed. This is a GOVERNMENT failure. It’s not a Republican or Democrat failure, it’s a Republican AND Democrat failure.
A quick survey of articles from the time of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic quickly makes clear that major hurdles to an effective response at that time were: dependence on raw materials and reagents from foreign sources, a lack of adequate vaccine production capacity within the US, and inadequate reserves of critical supplies. Sounds familiar doesn’t it? The press reported, the elected opined and held hearings, and everyone insisted they would see to it that it did not happen again. Yet it did. Many in government now were there in 2009.
Nothing would be significantly different if we were in the midst of a Democrat administration. We’d be hearing the same words just out of different mouths. Those condemning the Trump Administration excused the Obama Administration, and vice versa. Otherwise we’d be in exactly the same situation. If we don’t get past the same routine then 10 years from now there will be another pandemic threat and we’ll get to watch it all over again.
The true test of this administration, in fact the true test of us as a nation, is not this contemporary pandemic, but rather the next one. Will we have changed the story that lies ahead or will it be groundhog day all over again?
Any office holder or candidate for office must commit to the following priorities in this regard:
- Repatriate production of medical supplies to the US
- Repatriate vaccine production to the US
- Fully Stock the SNS to the level necessary to address a Pandemic
- Get Government out of the way in advance and when necessary
There will be short term pain with this, but it is nothing compared to the pain of failing to act. How many times must we revisit the potential consequences before we recognize the risk and see the value of the investment?
Mother nature creates, and she does so with elegance and ferocity. Some of her creations do us harm, and for that we can’t really blame her or hold her accountable. However, there is something much more lethal to us all as individuals and to our nation. That pathogen is politics. There are two distinct strains, each equally devastating, and together synergistically so.
Lastly, politicians suddenly finding shadows of the character and integrity that their office demands, only when faced with a pandemic, does NOT justify maintaining them in office.
Scott Smith Goshen, NY
*Editor’s note – Mr. Smih is currently running as an independent candidate for Congress against Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney.