By Ralph Nader
July 17, 2020
Public Citizen’s open letter, co-signed by over twenty nonprofit civic organizations working for the public health, demanded that Trump and Pence immediately give up their disastrous daily mismanagement of the Covid-19 response. Trump’s bungling and ignorance have allowed the Covid-19 virus to spread faster at an alarming rate around the country.
Public Citizen’s letter to Trump and Pence asserted that their “callous disregard for human life during the still-raging coronavirus pandemic is appalling and must cease,” and called for both of them to “immediately step aside from any further role in leading or communicating about the federal response to the pandemic, and to delegate full operating authority over the response to senior professional public health and medical experts within the agencies of the U.S. Public Health Service.” (See letter at citizen.org).
Dr. Peter Lurie, President of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is circulating a sign-on letter to current and former public health officials and professionals to be sent to President Trump defending Dr. Anthony Fauci and calling for science-based policies and the involvement of government scientists as the nation develops its response to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.
More Republicans in the Congress are agreeing with this shift to scientific and managerial expertise. Trump’s chaotic, mindless, wrongheaded, ego-obsessed careening week after week is aiding and abetting the spread of the virus. The Trump regime is not leading; it is obstructing the state efforts to combat the virus, over-riding or undermining the scientists and pushing lethal nostrums to desperate citizens. Trump and his toadies are also failing to provide needed supplies, facilities, uniform safeguards and clear guidance to the state officials.
Republican Senators, Susan Collins (Rep. Maine) and Shelley Moore Capito (Rep. West Virginia) have publicly declared that Trump should “step back” and let the “health professionals” be in daily operating charge. Many more GOP legislators privately and not so privately agree. They are seeing their poll numbers drop because of the Trump virus debacle.
The Democrats should take the initiative and draft a veto-proof bi-partisan bill to establish a special Commission to oversee the federal government’s management of the pandemic by scientists , public health officials and management experts. Moreover, members of Congress, whether singly or together, should demand that the giant medical and public health associations in this country speak out and demonstrate the utter urgency of the situation, presently controlled by a ferocious, ignorant fool. (They can use more diplomatic language).
Senators and Representatives must get to work and hold public hearings featuring people who know what they’re talking about. Former heads of the CDC led by Thomas Frieden are ready to testify. Prominent Deans of medical schools and heads of national and state public health associations have much to say and recommend. Nurses have already voiced their concerns by picketing the White House.
The Trump Administration’s lethal incompetence is unprecedented in American history. The fatalities and sickened are increasing in the pandemic’s surge. The economy is falling apart. Tens of millions are unemployed, facing hunger and eviction. The Pentagon stockpiles nuclear weapons while public health budgets are depleted, and schools beg for funds to safely open in the fall.
At the same time, the Captain Queeg in the White House is actually boasting that he has stopped enforcement of disease-preventing federal protections, and is continuing to push for terminating critical nursing home regulations and pressing to end Obamacare that will leave 23 million more Americans without health insurance. Sheer madness!
Wake up America! We need to do far more than we have done to force Trump to resign or at least step aside. Wake up Trump supporters! This virus is non-partisan and its destruction is insatiable. Our country cannot any longer afford to have a crazy man in the White House.
For the sake of many lives that can be saved, every person should call the White House comment number (202-456-1111) or the White House switchboard (202-456-1414) and tell Trump to step aside for the good of the country. Your messages tell Presidents which way the political winds are blowing. Make this “rumble of the people” speak loud and clear NOW!