Letter to the Editor: There are kudos to be cast along with blame

Let me begin with by noting that I am far from being an uncritical President Trump fan. While I have enrolled in the Republican Party, in my heart I am probably an independent. My letters are often attacked by both the right and the left.

In March 28’s Delaware State News, there were two letters about the virus: One (“Pandemic fears and guidelines”) was written by Beverly Monahan, who, if one is to judge by her previous letters, is a strong conservative Trump partisan. Ms. Monahan’s letter talked about the hardships of the crisis and made suggestions about alleviating it. Partisan criticism was muted or absent.

The other was written by Joanne Cabry (“Don’t look to the White House to end the pandemic”), who scolds President Trump for supposedly not listening to disease experts and surrounding himself “with sycophants.” Really? The White House Coronavirus Task Force includes Dr. Anthony Fauci (Director of National Center for Allergy and Infectious Diseases), Dr. Jerome Adams (U.S. Surgeon General), Dr. Deborah Birx (U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and U.S. Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy), and Dr. Ben Carson (Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development).  I get the feeling that no panel empowered by this government would satisfy some people.

David Mazur, who claims to understand the issue in his DSN letter April 3 (“Bad federal government advice adds to COVID-19 crisis”), said “some people say it is a Democratic hoax.” If it is anti-Trump, truth doesn’t matter to the likes of Ms. Cabry and Mr. Mazur, it is worth repeating.

I notice that they never refer to the record of Democratic luminaries Joe Biden, who opposed President Trump’s China quarantine as racist, or New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who refused to dismiss NYC schools and told city residents to ignore the virus. New York today is paying for his incompetence. I also wonder how many additional people were thrown into the abyss while Democrats held up for a week the bill that they originally helped write, so they could load it up with pork that had nothing to do with the pandemic.

Don’t get me wrong, there have been responsible Democrats, such as Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Sen. Amy Klobucher (not that I agree with all that they say), and irresponsible Republicans, such as Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis, who should have instituted measures a lot earlier then he did.  Honest criticism is understandable, but Mr. Mazur and Ms. Cabry don’t come up to that standard.

I do not excuse Donald Trump’s reaction to “gotcha questions,” but some of the media could hardly be more biased and hypocritical. Mika Brzezinski suggests that President Trump’s interest in a malaria drug cocktail was because he can make money off of it.  The New York Times, which in early February accused President Trump of “over-reacting to the virus,” now says he should have acted sooner.  By the way, intelligence sent to FDR before Pearl Harbor was unfortunately not immediately given credence, but in the face of mortal danger the country united under presidential leadership anyhow. 

Was America prepared for this? Obviously not, even though a Johns Hopkins study in 2019 claimed we were more prepared for a pandemic than other nations. Joe Biden claims he sounded the alarm early, but his press release was neither insightful or relevant; but rather almost totally an attack against President Trump. Criticisms about preparedness can be made of both Democratic and Republican administrations.

Some will point out that some of President Trump predictions turned out to be wrong, but that is not unexpected. I am an historian and I could easily point out inaccurate assertions made by Churchill, FDR, and Lincoln. But on the whole, considering his vacuous opponents, I am sure President Trump’s efforts fighting the pandemic will be vindicated by history.

On the other hand, I am equally sure that those who demonstrate a “politics as usual” attitude and engage in baseless hatred will be roundly condemned in future books for endangering the nation.      

Larry Koch, EdD