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Commentary Coronavirus

We’ll pay a high price for failed leadership in the pandemic

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By James Revels

Lost revenues by small businesses and others can be replaced by grants or loans, but human lives lost cannot.  So, the rush to reopen the economy during this continuing pandemic is driven by political considerations, with only lip service to concern for human lives lost. 

As expected, red state governors are driving the re-open train, led by Texas, all in a flawed attempt to help the 45th’s re-election campaign.  Political experts long ago predicted this pandemic would have a lasting negative impact on the economy, that would likewise hurt the incumbent’s re-election efforts.

Jim Revels is a retired Army colonel and longtime El Paso resident.

Not one Texas city meets the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for re-opening.  Thus, when politics enters the equation, the results have proven deadly.  I applaud governors who have placed a higher value on saving lives than economic concerns.  Even most Americans seem to agree, lives saved are more important than revenues gained.

This pandemic affirms the wisdom of this sage observation:  “The greatest of all evils, is a weak government.”  When that weakness flows from a failure of leadership, we all suffer needlessly. 

During every crisis, useful information is the real challenge.  Judging from Google searches, people are really interested in information they can use to cope with this pandemic, which explains why so many poison control centers received so many call, after the 45th improperly suggested using Pine Sol and Lysol as cures for COVID-19.

Without question, this has been the wrong time for the flaws in our economy, compounded by a failure of leadership, to surface.  One can only long for the skills of a real president during this pandemic.

Providing useful information during any crisis requires a certain level of truth telling, but the proponents of misinformation use deception to conceal the truth. 

The truth will always prevail.  This pandemic is no different.  Even after months of denial, as to the scope and impact of COVID-19, more than 60,000 deaths represent the  truth.

I do not believe we are going to be happy with the new normal that will emerge as efforts to combat this pandemic become more effective.  Likewise, I don’t know when I will be able to eat at a restaurant again.  According to recent opinion polls, that feeling is shared by most Americans. 

Accordingly, some small businesses and restaurants will surrender to the new normal.  The Texas oil and gas industry is the latest victim of this pandemic, and its future is uncertain at best.

In the meantime, people are dying every day, and more will die in the coming months, as the GOP pushes red state governors to end effective social distancing policies. 

Political decisions, during a pandemic, have proven deadly to those unable to defend themselves.  Accountability cannot come soon enough…..

The Old Soldier!!

James Revels is a retired Army colonel and former columnist for the El Paso Times who lives in East El Paso.

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