I take exception to Tim Peterson’s “Republican perspective” that President Trump holds no responsibility for the catastrophic impact that the coronavirus has had on the United States. One big bottom line is that the United States now has had over 148,000 people die from the virus, while the entire world has had about 650,000 deaths. Thus, while the population of the United States represents 4.25% of the world’s population, we have had 22.75% of the total deaths.

One big reason for this disparity is the early, and now continuing, lack of leadership by President Donald Trump. US national security officials were warning Trump of the global danger posed by the virus in daily intelligence briefings as early as January. In February, Trump continued to emphasize that “the virus is very much under control,” which it clearly was not, and even suggested that it was the Democrat’s “new hoax.” He also tweeted that “like a miracle, it will disappear.” February was essentially a wasted month.

In March, more than 30 states issued stay-at-home orders, while President Trump continued to downplay the severity of the threat, equating the virus to the common flu. In April, Trump claimed to have the legal right to overrule governors’ shelter-in-place orders, asserting at a press conference that the president’s “authority is total.” So much for Mr. Peterson’s point about Republicans’ strong support for “States Rights.”

President Trump continues to work against local and state efforts to respond to the growing pandemic by encouraging demonstrators seeking to “liberate” themselves from state and local governmental orders to stay at home, practice social distancing and wear masks. He is even challenging local school districts to open schools, regardless of the clear danger to students and staff.

Is it time to consider new leadership for our beloved country?

Chris Dinnan

Shawnee, CO  802475. 

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