Thursday, September 17, 2020

Pandemic Fail: What Trump Did Wrong

{Updated 10/1} If you are a fan of the guy in the White House and a friend of this blog, you may want to skip this one. I don't mean to offend a friend.

I blame Donald Trump and his incompetence for the Pandemic. A teacher friend shared that when people say that, it devolves in a screaming match and she never really learns why someone blames him. So I thought I would explain why I blame him for chaos we are living under. 

First some background. I worked in the film industry and education among other fields. I can move an army through the desert. I understand logistics and purchasing. I've collaborated with the Army, Navy and Secret Service in my career. My family background includes construction (which I have helped in) and law enforcement. I've lost my job due to COVID, so I have some skin in the game. 

So this is what should have been done by a TRUE leader: 

1) Don't tear apart the Pandemic Team. The history of our Pandemic readiness as a nation dates back to George W. Bush. He was on vacay at the ranch and read a book on the 1918 Pandemic. (A President that novel!) He read that they occur every 100 years or so and was looking at the calendar and came back to Washington and gave orders to start preparing. Obama continued and enhanced. Trump tore it apart. Gotta love a lack of foresight and planning on a leader's part. 

2) Freeze the borders immediately. Donald's excuse: "Well if they are Americans, you have to let them in." So quarantine them on an army base or hotel or outpatient hospital. Hawaii is doing this. Other countries did this. 14 days and a clear test and DONE. 

Los Angeles' own patient zero was from Wuhan who flew into LAX TWICE while ill... the second time, he was too ill to move and had to be hospitalized. Think of the plane-loads of people he infected. This should have never been allowed to happen! 

3) Mask mandate. Fauci / Birx et. al have openly admitted they did not suggest masks because they knew there were not enough and feared medical personnel would have NONE.  This is where LEADERSHIP is crucial! A good, effective leader could prevent panic by saying the following: 

"Listen folks, we believe a mask is crucial to stopping this, but PLEASE do not run out and buy an N95. We are desperately trying to make sure our medical teams have those. A simple fabric mask will do. So I'm going to call on all the fabulous makers and sewers we have here in America. Get that quilting fabric you've been stashing away out and SAVE LIVES! The CDC is posting patterns on their website and the White House website will have it too. Please make masks for all your friends... and honestly we are so short on N95s, make some covers for your nurse and doctor friends too! THIS COUNTRY NEEDS YOU!

And I know it's uncomfortable to wear them but the thing is, you can be spreading the virus without having ANY symptoms! So please do your part and wear a mask! I'll wear mine every time you see me in public. Just know when you see me wearing a mask, I'm doing my part to save the lives of my family and wonderful staff. YOU DO THE SAME and we'll get through this quickly!"

And then you wear a mask everywhere. Be photographed in it. Make it normal! Make it heroic! And never, ever make fun of anyone who choses to be so heroic!

4) Purchasing clearinghouse. The USA had the ability to order supplies: PPE, masks, gloves, gowns, ventilators etc. in bulk at a Federal level. If I were purchasing on this level (for 50+ states and territories), I would have worked on percentages. Ex: If New York had 55% of the cases, NY would have first crack at 55% of whatever we bought on a given day. If CA had 20% of all cases, they could have 20% of available PPE. If someone had enough gowns, they could just stay in inventory. 

Items would be sold to the states at cost.

As it was, states were bidding against one another and would think they had locked in supplies only to be outbid again. There were stories of comptrollers being lead to parking lots by highway patrol to get to the PPE first. California was paying $5.50 for N95 for healthcare workers when the going rate was half that.  Desperation breeds fear and costs money. By having the Federal Government work as a centralized clearinghouse (something our military has vast experience in), it prevents panic and saves money. 

5) Standardized Re-opening plans. If the Federal Government had set a clear standard for what the numbers of cases should look like before you open restaurants / bars / gyms / churches / schools, there would have been far less pushback. They don't have to mandate but come up with a plan. Even the Department of Education HAS NO PLAN. Everything is left up to the states.  What could have been standardized across the country is willy nilly and based on politics, not saving lives. Which leads to spoiled baby Americans saying, "Why to they get to go out to eat when I have to stay home." More discord and pushback. 

6) Let the science do the talking. Trump made every press conference about HIM. A genuine leader with concern for his people would have popped in and said, "Ok, this is what we are looking at today: {Update on numbers}. We have cut a deal to {buy PPE / manufacture vents}. Wear your mask folks and now, I'm going to let the scientists fill you in on the rest. 

Talk about what the government can do (your strength as a leader) and let the smart scientists do the heavy lifting, without regard to your own electability! 

7) Just be honest with us. I know that's a hard thing for dear misleader to do with over 20,000 lies on the books (Why are we o.k. with that?). Americans will tolerate a lot. They will band together and pull off AMAZING things, when under clear, direct leadership. 

8) Pay people to STAY HOME! (Can't believe I left this out!) Other countries did this. In Korea, they basically paid for groceries and utilities and that's it. All rent / mortgage's suspended. Did you skip the key word there: mortgages. I'm a landlord. I rely on my rental income to make MY bills... my mortgages were not suspended (Heaven forbid we hurt the big, bad banks!) but my rental income was. It just makes no sense the way our Government has tackled this! How's the whopping $1200 you got way back in April holding out??? 

How different would things be if we had someone kind and compassionate in the White House? 

I can only imagine... but I do know this for sure. We would all be out having a cocktail or lovely dinner after getting off of work if these things had been done. 


Millie and Walter said...

I couldn't have said it better. I'm fortunate to live in a state (NY) that has a governor who took this seriously and where I live the numbers are way down. I'm not letting my guard down though because there, of course, have been problems with people not following the rules lately with churches becoming spreaders of Covid (interestingly enough Jewish temples and Muslim mosques are not a problem) and numerous college students ignoring the rules as well.

In my area the mask wearing compliance is very good when you are in a store, but we rarely see anyone with a mask when we go to parks with lots of people around. Sadly we will be stuck with this mess at least until January 20th at the earliest, but more likely until an effective vaccine can be distributed.

Thanks for articulating so well on how things should have been. We can only hope things will get better after the election.

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

I admire your governor so much! I used to have New York channels when a COVID started and would watch his press conferences. He seemed to be the only sane voice for a long time!

Snowbrush said...

I agree with all that you've said here except for your point about "a simple cloth mask." Not only are layers important but different kinds of materials should be used. I finally settled on surgical masks with inserts that allow me to mold them around my nose, but not all surgical masks are equally effective.

I'm very happy you've been posting again, but it also seems strange because I didn't know what had happened to you, and so as the months--and then the years--passed, I got to wondering if you were even alive, and so when I heard

Millie, how can it be that "Jewish temples and Muslim mosques are not a problem"? Sometimes, pre-Covid, I attended services at a local synagogue, and people there were no more spread out than they would be in a church, so I don't understand why synagogues would be safer than churches. I do recall that a couple of Hasidim funerals in NYC were labeled "super spreader" events, and that a number of rabbis and imams have died of Covid.

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

Snowy, please send me your email!