Letter to the Editor: Lack of leadership will have election results

I write to highlight what I believe is a failure of leadership in our country.  This failure is widespread consisting of national, state, and local elected leaders. 

It involves the bombastic belief held by many of these leaders that they can control nature.  Such a belief is of course preposterous.  Do they really believe that they can change the course of a hurricane or prevent the eruption of a volcano? 

As a society we are facing the reality of a natural phenomenon known as a virus pandemic.  To combat this emergency, these leaders are exercising extraordinary powers to confront this threat to public safety. 

            It is the exercise of this emergency power that has caused the public to realize that the emperor has no clothes.  In the State of Vermont, while Walmart has been allowed to keep its stores open, they are not permitted to sell clothing because the act of selling clothes has been deemed non-essential.  I guess the State of Vermont has, by extension, deemed that public nudity is permitted.  The City of Philadelphia has deemed that crafts and toys are non-essential thus closing those businesses including their mail order segment.  These actions are nothing less than punitive given that mail order giants (read on-line) such as Amazon continue to service customers of these products in that city.

            But the biggest failure of our leaders is that they embarked on a strategy without considering the consequences of their actions. 

When one considers the reactions that a given strategy will likely create, a responsible leader will construct a plan to mitigate the adversities created once the emergency has subsided.  What we are seeing now is that many leaders did not fully consider how they would deal with the absolute destruction of their respective economies. 

What we are hearing now is that the leaders cannot set a plan because there is a lack of testing capacity for this virus.  And the finger-pointing begins with each level of government blaming the other.  This lack of testing has been known from day one of this emergency and yet the leaders are just now realizing that it is the chief reason that they cannot start to reconstruct their economies? 

I have yet to read any informed explanation as to why this country cannot produce reliable tests for this virus.  If news reports are accurate, South Korea was able to produce tests on a large volume – so much so that they shipped test kits to the State of Maryland.

            Finally, I would point out that this is an election year for many of these leaders.  While re-election may not have a high priority for some, it is a potential factor in being extremely cautious in making decisions that could destroy a political career.  After all, who would want to be the leader of a government that just suffered a surge in constituent deaths in October?  

Robert Gouge

Helpful Coronavirus links

Delaware Division of Health Coronavirus Page
CDC: About the Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC: What to do if You Are Sick
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
AP News Coronavirus Coverage
Reopening Delaware: Resources for Businesses
Delaware Phase 2 guidance

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