Yesterday the president was asked about his statement in March that we have 15 cases now, and then that will be zero. His answer: It will be zero at the appropriate time. Question: Wouldn’t a million cases ago have been a more appropriate time?

As the shortage of ventilators, PPE and hospital gowns became apparent, the president opted not to use the Defense Production Act (DPA) to make sure the needed materials were available at all hospitals. He put the states and federal government in competition. This resulted in medical professionals being forced to re-use equipment and risk their lives; some even lost their lives. It forced the states to pay higher prices, straining their budgets. Question: Wouldn’t it have been wiser to name a federal “Procurement Czar” who could use the DPA to require manufacturers to produce the materials at a fair price and distribute the equipment based on need, not money and power?

The president issued guidelines for re-opening the economy. Those guidelines included a 14-day decline in cases, adequate testing and contact tracing before you begin Phase I of re-opening. The medical experts insist that re-opening too soon will result in more deaths and a resurgence of the virus. Questions: How is it OK for states to re-open now when none of them have met those guidelines? And for those of you clamoring to re-open: How many deaths are acceptable so that you to get a paycheck or, worse, so you can get a haircut?

Throughout this crisis the medical experts have insisted that testing is key. The president keeps telling us what a good job we are doing because we’ve tested more people than any other country. That would make sense if the U.S. was competing in a “Who can test more people contest?”. But the experts are telling us how many tests we need to be doing each day. Question: Are we doing that many tests per day? Hint: The answer is no, not by a long shot.

The president has now used the DPA to force meat packers to stay open. He has worked with the industry to make sure that the workers can’t sue if they contract the virus. Thousands of people at meat packing plants have Covid-19. Many have died. Question: When did pork chops become more important that people’s lives?

Final question: Is this good leadership? Really?

Tobey Miller, Fort Payne

Send letters to the Times-Journal by writing P.O. Box 680349, Fort Payne, AL 35968. Fax 256-845-7459. Email emily.kirby @times-journal.com.

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