My skin isn’t thick enough to endure criticism trailblazers like Harris, Pelosi, Gandhi, Meir, and Thatcher have had to suffer; but I have been inspired to follow in their footsteps, in my own ways. As Harris told Marie Claire magazine, “I want [young] women to know, you are powerful and your voice matters." Amen, Sisters. Amen.
Finally, something we can (almost) all agree on:
We have heroes and angels among us, thank God.
Front-line warriors in the Coronavirus siege – risking their own lives, showing amazing courage and compassion – qualify for those titles. Medical personnel, first responders, drivers and supermarket workers delivering and stocking essential goods, among others, deserve our appreciation.
In many communities, at designated hours, residents gather on balconies, patios, and sidewalks, clapping, cheering, and blowing horns to publicly thank them.
Some governors, on BOTH sides of the aisle, have worked tirelessly to provide non-partisan leadership for their states and acquire desperately needed medical supplies, while having to bid against each other (and the federal government) to purchase them. They, too, qualify as heroes to most of their citizens.
Republican governors Mike DeWine (OH) and Larry Hogan (MD); and Democratic governors Gavin Newsom (CA), Jared Polis (CO), and Andrew Cuomo (NY), have received high marks for prioritizing science and medical expertise over ideology and partisan politics in making tough decisions.
Cuomo’s daily briefings demonstrate compassion and communicate COVID-19’s grim facts – unlike President Trump’s, which have degenerated into surrogate campaign rallies. On April 13, Trump showed a campaign video, touting his accomplishments, to shocked reporters. Since he can’t hold rallies, Trump uses daily briefings to boast, misstate facts, and attack the media.
Other governors, like Brian Kemp (R-GA) and Ron DeSantis (R-FL), haven’t emerged as heroes.
Kemp embarrassed himself (and GA) when he announced – on April 1, well into the crisis – he’d just learned Coronavirus could be spread by asymptomatic people, despite warnings from health officials months before. With that newfound knowledge, Kemp declared a statewide stay-at-home order. Maybe a GoFundMe account is needed, to buy him a TV capable of receiving more than one channel (Fox).
DeSantis refused to close Florida beaches during spring break. Students mobbed them, potentially exposing thousands to COVID-19. One declared, “I’m not gonna’ let it stop me from partying.” Many Floridians wished their governor had displayed a more mature attitude than the student.
But most governors are praised as heroes, and medical workers as angels, by Americans. One prefers to criticize them, though: President Trump.
Jealous of others receiving admiration, perhaps, Trump branded governors “complainers” because they questioned shortages of vital medical equipment and supplies, such as ventilators and masks. Trump himself complained they didn’t appreciate him enough, and instructed VP Pence not to “waste time” talking with them. He told Fox News: “I don’t believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators.” Hospitals tried (and failed) to treat double patients with single ventilators, since they were in short supply.
Trump blasted medical angels’ pleas for necessary supplies to protect patients and themselves. He accused some of stealing (and reselling) precious masks. On March 29, he asserted: “Something’s going on. Where are the masks going? Are they going out the back door? I don’t think it’s hoarding; it’s worse than hoarding.”
That provoked an angry response from Cuomo, who demanded if Trump had evidence of that, he should produce it. No evidence produced, so far.
Moderates join Americans thanking and praising our heroes and angels for their compassion and selflessness – and wish Trump would follow their lead.