The stress is very, very real in America these days.
This is an election year, after all, and these affairs always seem to push us closer and closer to the edge of civil unrest. We are at our most vitriolic when we are so politically active, and you can hear it in the vicious volume of our voices in 2020.
On top of that, we have a US President who has broken the West Wing mold, perhaps twice over. Trump is a bombastic and results-driven individual whose ends will always justify the means. If they haven’t, then it’s not the end yet. The President’s demeanor has been criticized from all corners of the political world, but he has still performed swimmingly – particularly in terms of the economy.
And then, as if we needed any more worry in our lives, there is the omnipresent threat of COVID-19, which is flaring up wildly during what appears to be the onset of the long-predicted “second wave”.
It was perhaps this unholy triumvirate of stressors that has Maryland’s Governor lashing out against the President Trump this week.
You can apparently count Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) among the solid majority of Americans who are unimpressed with President Trump’s COVID-19 response. In a brutal Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday, for example, 62 percent of registered voters said Trump is hurting the effort to fight COVID-19, while 67 percent said they don’t trust the information he shares about the disease. Unlike most Americans, though, Hogan has a front-row seat to Trump’s response, both as a governor and chairman of the National Governors Association.
Hogan published a detailed, withering critique of Trump’s response in an op-ed Thursday in Trump’s least-favorite newspaper, The Washington Post. He started with the extraordinary effort he and his Korean-born wife, Yumi Hogan, made to fly 500,000 COVID-19 tests in from South Korea in April, sending them into safe hiding under armed guard because “the federal government had recently seized 3 million N95 masks purchased by Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker.”
This airlift from Seoul “shouldn’t have been necessary,” Hogan writes, but “I’d watched as the president downplayed the outbreak’s severity and as the White House failed to issue public warnings, draw up a 50-state strategy, or dispatch medical gear or lifesaving ventilators from the national stockpile to American hospitals. Eventually, it was clear that waiting around for the president to run the nation’s response was hopeless.”
Then came the most damning statements:
“Governors always do the hard work, make the tough decisions and take the political heat,” Hogan writes. “But an undertaking as large as a national testing program required Washington’s help. We expected something more than constant heckling from the man who was supposed to be our leader. Trump soon disabused us of that expectation.”
We can only imagine that a response from the President is forthcoming.
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