Day 41 – Total confirmed cases in US: 905,333
As we close in on one million confirmed cases in my country, it is worth pointing out that no other country has hit a quarter or a million cases yet. With about 4.25% of the world’s population, we have a third of the planet’s cases. The main reason for our horrendous failure as a nation is that our president and his party have lost faith in the ability of government to be a force for good for its citizens.
As Ronald Reagan famously, and cynically, said, “”The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” His goofy smile and aw shucks manner hid the cancerous attitude that is now killing us.
The party in control of our federal government, the best institution we have to combat this pandemic effectively, has spent the last four decades demonizing and destroying the very idea of government. Now, Republican governors are starting to re-open too soon, while the Senate sees this as another opportunity to shovel money to people who already have too much, and to loosen the insufficient protections in place for workers and the environment. The Senate Majority Leader is encouraging states to declare bankruptcy so that they can default on their obligations to fund the pensions of police, firefighters, teachers, sanitation, and transit workers because Republicans believe government should be run like a business.
Over the years that I have been writing this blog I had a recurring feature called The Lost Art of Letter Writing. I don’t think I ever read a letter better than this one, from a farmer in Kansas to the governor of New York.
Dear Mr. Cuomo,
I seriously doubt that you will ever read this letter as I know you are busy beyond belief with the disaster that has befallen our country. We currently (as of March 26, 2020) a nation in crisis. Of that there is no doubt. Your approach has been spot on correct. I commend you for that & for especially for telling the truth, something that has been sorely lacking as of late.
I am retired farmer hunkered down in N.E. Kansas with my wife who has but one lung and occasional problems with her remaining lung. She also has diabetes. We are in our 70’s now & frankly I am afraid for her.
Enclosed find a solitary N95 mask leftover from our farming days. It has never been used. If you could, would you please give this mask to a nurse or doctor in your city. I have kept four masks for my immediate family. Please keep on doing what you do so well, which is to lead.
Dennis and Sharon