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Commentary Coronavirus

Opinion: Wishful thinking by weak leaders will not bring us pre-pandemic normalcy

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By James Revels

When COVID-19 arrived last year, the previous administration had no plans to combat it, because they ignored scientific warnings and advice. As a result, the nation struggled to combat this deadly virus. States were left to devise their own plans and strategies, while the national leadership played the political card.

Jim Revels

Like all disasters, COVID-19 demanded action and sacrifices. Steps were taken, reluctantly, that finally resulted in a decline in cases. Now, after a year of struggles, our gutless governor is once again surrendering to political pressure to return the state to normalcy. But there can be no normalcy after COVID-19. 

Our lives have been forever altered and there can never be the normalcy we once observed. We all now must adjust to a new normal.

One of the enduring lessons learned for this pandemic has to be the importance of political courage and leadership. Never again should we elect individuals to political offices who have no regard for human life, the rule of law and integrity. 

Lying about a deadly virus must not be tolerated in the new normal. Neither should we ignore the truth, because it hurts. An ancient proverb warns: “Look upon the present as the past of your future.” An ancient sage wrote: “The past, though it cannot be relived, can always be repaired.” Our first repair effort should be new political leadership.

More than 2,500 El Pasoans have been killed by COVID-19. There can never be a return to normal for these families and relatives. Their lives have been forever changed. Anyone who ignores their loss is unfit for public office. 

While the number of new cases have declined recently, the presence of more infectious variants demand that successful defensive measures continue.

Thankfully, some of our local leaders are endowed with enough common sense to disregard orders from an unfit political hack, who has surrendered to re-election political pressure. Telling Texans it is no longer necessary to protect ourselves from COVID-19, but it would be a good idea if we did, is the definition of a lack of political leadership. 

Another ancient proverb warns: “Civilization is always in danger when those (without leadership skills) are given the right to lead.”

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

Cover photo: A nurse prepares a COVID-19 vaccination at the city’s hub near El Paso International Airport. (Photo courtesy of city of El Paso)

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