Editorial pages focus on issues surrounding the spread of coronavirus.
The Washington Post: Never Mind Trump. Coronavirus Shows Why Electing Competent State And Local Officials Is Vital.
For all the speculation about whether coronavirus will doom President Trump’s reelection, voters motivated by the outbreak would do well to focus further down the ballot, on the state and local races that will determine who bears the lion’s share of responsibility for the response. As the coronavirus spreads in communities, it will be mayors, county judges and school superintendents — not federal officials ― who make the tough calls about whether to declare a state of emergency or shutter public schools and other institutions. (Patrick Roberts, 3/8)
CNN: Coronavirus Crisis Exposes Limitations Of Trump’s Alternate Reality
President Donald Trump’s trusted method for winning his battles — flinging disinformation, alternative facts and biting attacks at his enemies — is being exposed by coronavirus, a rare force that is impervious to political pressure. Trump’s efforts to construct an alternative reality in which the situation is under control were further undermined Monday after the total number of cases in the US soared past 550. His upbeat public rhetoric was also starkly at odds with increasingly dire warnings from inside his own administration about draconian steps that may need to be taken to combat the virus as it continues to spread. (Stephen Collinson, 3/9)
USA Today: Trump Owes Us Straight Talk On Coronavirus
We knew, at some point, that it would come to this. President Donald Trump, who has lied to the American people about every facet of his life — his education, his family, his mistresses, his money — is now asking us to believe him about a potential matter of life and death: the coronavirus. Trump says he’s on top of it. But this time, it’s not his life he’s talking about, it’s ours. Should we — and can we — believe him? I hope so. We’re all Americans after all, and while I’m not a Trump fan, he’s our president, and I wish him well in facing down this common threat. If he is able to contain it, with limited damage in terms of lives lost and economic disruption, I’ll be the first to say thanks and give praise. Yet true to form, Trump has said things that are either misleading or flat out wrong. (Paul Brandus, 3/7)
Fox News: Trump’s Coronavirus Response Could Be His Finest Hour
Democrats dreaming of their party winning the White House in November seem to be hoping that the president’s coronavirus response will be his “Katrina moment” – a reference to the hurricane that hit New Orleans and the surrounding region in 2005 and sparked sharp criticism of President George W. Bush for problems with the federal disaster response. But Trump’s opponents – including their left-wing media allies – don’t realize that the president was made for this crisis. There is nothing he loves more, or is as good at, as taking personal charge of a crisis and bulldozing his way through the bureaucracy to a solution. (K.T. McFarland, 3/8)
CNN: Trump Serves Up Irresponsible And Dangerous Information On Coronavirus
On Sunday morning, Donald Trump took to Twitter to try to convince you that his administration’s response to the coronavirus outbreak has been “perfectly coordinated and fine tuned.” He then made it clear that if you think otherwise, it’s all the fault of the “Fake News Media” which he claims “is doing everything possible to make us look bad.” In reality, Trump looking “bad” over his handling of the deadly coronavirus outbreak is not the fault of the media. It’s the fault of one person: Donald J. Trump. (Dean Obeidallah, 3/8)
Los Angeles Times: Why Aren’t We Paying People With Coronavirus To Stay Home?
The rapid passage this week of an $8.3-billion emergency spending plan to fight the spread and severity of the coronavirus shows that Congress and the president are willing to set aside their petty partisanship in the face of the emerging health threat. That’s reassuring. What’s not is that they left out of the funding package an important tool to fight the spread of COVID-19: paying people with coronavirus symptoms to stay home from work. The dollars will go to vaccine and therapeutics development, protective equipment for healthcare workers, support for local public health departments and hospitals fighting outbreaks and help for global health efforts. But there’s no earmark for payments for people who may contract the virus but can’t afford to take a day off. (Mariel Garza, 3/6)
The Washington Post: The Coronavirus Outbreak Is Making Expertise Great Again
One of the leitmotifs of right-wing nationalism in the West is a profound rage against expertise. President Trump’s campaign four years ago latched on to populist resentments toward the cadre of nominally liberal, technocratic elites predominant in government and other institutions of power and privilege. Former Trump adviser Stephen K. Bannon spoke grandiosely of “the destruction of the administrative state” and the supposed anti-national menace that lurked within it. Trump, who once proclaimed his “love” for “the poorly educated,” has demonstrated repeatedly over three years of hiring and firing top officials that he values personal loyalty and sycophancy over subject-matter competence. (Ishaan Tharoor, 3/9)
The Hill: Paid Sick Leave Is A Public Health Policy
To curtail the spread of COVID-19, the message that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is sharing with people who are sick but do not require hospitalization is: “stay home…isolate yourself.” This is an easy suggestion to embrace those of us who can afford to stay home and do not have to worry about the impact of not working on receiving a paycheck. But for the millions of workers in this country without access to paid sick leave, a choice to work sick or don’t work and don’t get paid is no choice at all. There is no federal law requiring that workers receive paid sick leave. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, less than a dozen states and Washington D.C. provide paid sick leave. Some cities also provide paid sick leave to qualified individuals, but estimates are that 27 percent or 32 million private-sector workers in the U.S. are unable to take a single paid sick day. (Keshia M. Pollack, 3/8)
Los Angeles Times: In The Response To Coronavirus, There’s No Room For Racism
In recent weeks, China has faced an unprecedented public health challenge. The novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 has taken more than 3,000 lives and infected more than 80,000 people on the Chinese mainland.Confronted with the sudden outbreak of the previously unknown virus, the Chinese government, led by President Xi Jinping, moved ahead with the most comprehensive and rigorous public health effort ever mounted in response to an epidemic. Despite disruption to economic activities and personal life, the Chinese people came together to contain the spread of the virus. (Zhang Ping, 3/8)
The Wall Street Journal: ‘Network Effects’ Multiply A Viral Threat
‘’The coronavirus panic is dumb.” I hesitate to disagree with Elon Musk, but here goes. The wrong way to think about the rapid spread around the world of the novel coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, and the disease it causes, Covid-19, is to say—as another smart and wealthy man put it to me last Monday—“Remember the H1N1-A virus of 2009? Neither do I. It infected a significant chunk of the globe, killed 20,000 U.S. citizens and we got over it pretty quickly.” He might have added that 20,000 is less than half the number of Americans who died of influenza and pneumonia in 2017. (Niall Ferguson, 3/8)
The Washington Post: When An Emergency Room Suspected A Washington Post Reporter Had Coronavirus, Things Got Serious Fast
The snaking check-in line at the emergency room last Friday and the scores of sickly patients seeking comfort in the spartan lobby presaged a long, dreadful morning. Then something worse happened: I was taken back immediately, ahead of everyone on the gurneys, in the wheelchairs, on the floor and even those who appeared passed out in the chairs. No insurance papers were needed. “Mr. Dawsey, please come this way.” (Josh Dawsey, 3/7)
The New York Times: The Best Response To The Coronavirus? Altruism, Not Panic
Are you fearful about catching the coronavirus? Are you anxious about whether you’re properly prepared for its arrival? You’re in good company.In the past few days, I’ve had more than a few patients call or email to ask me to double or even triple the dosage of their prescription antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication so that they could have a bigger supply on hand “just in case.” Throughout the country, people are stockpiling food in anticipation of a shortage or a quarantine. (Richard A. Friedman, 3/8)
The Hill: Think This Coronavirus Crisis Is Bad? The Next Could Be Worse — If We Don’t Act Now
The 2003 SARS, 2009 Avian Flu, and 2012 MERS epidemics should have provided us ample warning that an even more dangerous global pandemic loomed on the horizon. Although many leading experts then called for building much more robust national and global infrastructures in preparation for this eventuality, not nearly enough was done. Instead, populations in the United States and around the world came to see governance as a reality-television spectacle rather than as our most essential mechanism for ensuring our safety and security. As the coronavirus pandemic, today grows ever-more dangerous, we must not only rise to meet this crisis but also step up our efforts to prepare for even more dangerous pathogens — either naturally emerging or synthetically engineered — that are very likely to follow. (Jamie Metzl, 3/8)
Miami Herald: Coronavirus Might Be In Broward, And All The Health Department Can Say Is, ‘Wash Your Hands?!”
There are two cases of presumptive coronavirus in our “back yard” — Broward County — and the best that county’s health department can tell us is the ancient cautions to “wash your hands” and “don’t touch your face?” Sorry, but Paula Thaqi’s aggravatingly uninformative press briefing Saturday to discuss the two cases were practically a dereliction of duty. To be fair, her hands were tied, she said, by guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As questions from frustrated reporters were repeatedly rebuffed with Thaqi’s response that she was following CDC rules, or that HIPPA rules prevented her from violating patients’ privacy, she finally said, “We are providing the public with specific information,” punting again and again to floridahealth.gov. (3/8)
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