Prioritize Health Over Politics
Published in the Rio Rancho Observer, July 26
How would you judge a father who withholds life-saving treatment from a child with a serious disease?
How would you judge a father who is more concerned with his stock portfolio and golf swing than his child’s suffering and possible death? How would you judge a father who fails to protect the rest of his family from the contagion ravaging his child?
You would likely judge that father as abusive, malicious, or worse.
Yet as this deadly pandemic ravages our country—causing untold death and overflowing intensive care units—the president is practicing similar abuse. Rather than provide leadership by amplifying the advice of Dr. Fauci and other specialists to stay at home, wear masks, and socially distance, the president seeks to sully Fauci’s reputation and provoke us into doing the opposite of what would stem the spread of COVID-19.
Many Republican governors mimic the president’s behavior, failing to enact requirements to reduce the pandemic’s transmission and reopening their states prematurely. Even with responsible leadership, New Mexico, among other states, cannot get enough cooperation because of the president’s campaign to discredit science and politicize sensible precautions.
As a result, COVID-19 is surging out of control in too many places.
We are not children; we have the capacity to weigh the advice of experts, think for ourselves, and take actions that will protect the health of our families. But when the president and his Republican enablers pursue a dangerous agenda of prematurely opening schools and restarting the economy, the medical experts’ messages become muddled and the Administration’s political agenda triumphs over the public interest.
Protecting public health is a critical government responsibility, even if it requires short-term inconvenience and a temporary decrease in personal liberty. People will continue to fall ill and our economy will suffer unless we put selfishness aside and take personal responsibility for the welfare of our community.
Unfortunately, this is unlikely to happen until we have new leadership in the White House and Senate who put the country’s well-being ahead of their unabashed greed and pursuit of power.