Dear Americans, Please Stop Politicizing a Global Threat
It is true that the media reports on the coronavirus for a large portion of their time on air. The media tends to report on the big events, like earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, and viral outbreaks a larger portion of the time than than the typical daily news.
This virus deserves more coverage than earthquakes, tsunamis, or hurricanes because it is still on-going, and it is effecting 115 countries around the world. Not only that, but 116,949 people have had it so far, and 4,095 people have died from it and those numbers are growing daily.
It is then remarkably foolish and short sighted of Americans to think that any of this is political.
When the leader of the country tells his followers that the opposite political party is trying to make the virus sound worse than it is, or that they are spreading incorrect information, it puts vulnerable populations at risk.
Then, people on that side of the political aisle, used to this narrative, decide to be skeptical about all information about the coronavirus.
I decided to respond to a request on Twitter this week:
In a series of 7 tweets, I went through my main concerns, namely regarding testing. The United States decided not to use World Health Organization tests, delaying our ability to test and contain the virus at the source. Then the CDC made kits were faulty, and we are still waiting for large numbers of tests to be done, now that it has spread throughout the country. My theory for our government choosing to use United States kits instead of the WHO kits all goes back to profit, business and the stock market.
None of that is political.
I am not trying to get Trump out of office at the moment.
The fact is that like it or not, even if the Democrats vote in someone new in November, they won’t take over until January.
By then, we will have seen the true ramifications of this virus in the United States. Numbers that can’t be denied or wished away or called fake.
What I want, personally, is for our current leadership to lead.
To try to stem the tide of this problem before we are the next Italy, closing down the country.
But look at the news from that time (2/27):
Italy’s government is in fightback mode, trying a concerted approach to lessen the coronavirus panic. “It’s time to stop the panic”, said Prime Minister Conte, asking the national broadcaster Rai to “tone down”.
Much like the United States media, at the time, they wanted to tone down the narrative, stop sounding the panic. The article goes on to talk about how Milan’s mayor is asking for museums to re-open, and someone even posted a cheery video about how life is going on like normal in Milan.
Is that still the case today?
Even though it was just two weeks ago, it is an interesting experiment to look back at the news around these dates in that country. We have the gift of hindsight for Italy.
So, for this country, we need to seriously ask if the media is overhyping it, or are they doing the right things to try to clearly show how serious this could get and contain the spread before it gets to Italy’s numbers?
Now, even though the tweet that started all this was asking for answers “without hate” here are a few of the lines from people who are against Democrats and stand with Trump:
You assume that they’re thinking. I’ve never found that to be the case
It’s just a fact that they automatically look for any angle to destroy him. It’s not even rational at this point.
The only thing that would make the media/democrats happy would be for him to get the virus
EVIL, irrational people thrive on hatred, chaos, & lies. We don’t understand it because we are not like them.
Democrats are not making anything better in the world of Twitter either.
- I saw one anti- Trump supporter post a screenshot from The Simpsons, which had Trump in a coffin, and basically posting that they hoped that episode was predicting the future.
- Another person is trying to get people to write letters to the president telling him he should be fired.
- They call Trump followers lunatics, and there are plenty of tweets hoping that he gets the virus.
None of this is helpful.
We are fighting with each other when we should be uniting to fight a common enemy with this COVID19 virus (not the “China Virus”).
By the way, instead of vilifying China, we could learn a lot from them. The predicted numbers of contagion never got as bad as feared because they worked hard, and they worked together to follow all the recommendations.
More than the lack of testing, and our leadership’s continued focus on finances over health, I am disappointed in Trump throwing away his chance to unite our country towards a common threat.
— This virus does not care how you vote.
— This virus does not care who is the president.
— This virus only lives to infect more and replicate.
Both Democrats and Republicans have a responsibility now, as this virus grows, to be extremely purposeful in our tweets, our retweets, and our actions.
You might not believe in the coronavirus, you might think it is overblown, you might think that the Democrats are using it as a weapon- but if you are sick, you should stay home. If someone you had close contact with is a confirmed case, stay home, self quarantine.
In doing so, you protect your co-workers and friends.
You protect your elderly family members.
You protect those among you who have weakened immune systems.
Don’t make your choices based on your political beliefs, but on the fact that viruses are contagious, all viruses, and this one especially.
Four thousand people have died to it already. That isn’t just a number. That is four thousand plus families who are mourning someone loved. Four thousand homes with an empty space now.
You likely have someone you care about in one of the vulnerable categories. Even if they are elderly, you would be outraged if someone snuck into their nursing home and murdered them. But that is what the outcome of not caring enough about community spread will do to the elderly in this country.
If you are young, and strong and healthy, yes, your body will likely beat it. So, do your part, and tell the virus it doesn’t get to use you to carry out its master plan.
Stay home. Lives are at stake.