School system taking action
Coronavirus has not only affected our economy, but now our school systems as well. When I first heard about a possible minimum two-week closing, I was astonished. As a high school student, I had no clue how the school system would pull this off, especially thinking about how all the staff who get paid by the hour would continue to live a stable life, all the underprivileged students who have to go home to tables with no food and homes with no technology to keep them up to date with assignments. As a more privileged student who doesn’t have those things to worry about when coming home, I couldn’t even imagine how they must be feeling. However, the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school system has come through with answers to these concerns, and I couldn’t be more surprised with its well-prepared and thought-out answers.
The school system may not solve every single problem that has been presented, however we can at least be assured that it is taking a promising step forward to ensure that students can continue on with receiving an education.
I am all for pulling together at a time like this. I appreciate that state school Superintendent Mark Johnson, a Republican, stood on stage with Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, last week when he announced the executive order to close the state’s schools (“Schools to close statewide,” March 15).
But we can’t accept dangerous lies from our leaders just for the sake of pulling together.
On Sunday, Republican Rep. Devin Nunes of California urged people to go out to local pubs in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. He said, “If you’re healthy, you and your family, it’s a great time to go out and go to a local restaurant, likely you can get in easily.”
But after the media pointed out how dangerous his advice was, he went on the Hannity Outrage Hour (which is what I call Sean Hannity’s TV show) and complained about “media freaks” who criticized him. He claimed that his Sunday statement was meant to encourage people to do drive-thru or takeout.
But that’s not what he said.
Why couldn’t he just admit that he got it wrong? That kind of behavior is just childish. I doubt there’s a single parent in Forsyth County who would let their children get away with behaving in such a way.
Thank goodness all of our local politicians are above that kind of behavior, too. Aren’t they?
We need to pull together in a time like this. It’s essential. But pulling together means being honest.
During times of crisis, Americans rely on a strong, competent federal government. COVID-19 definitely qualifies as a crisis, but we no longer have a strong, competent federal government thanks to President Trump and his right-wing Republican allies. These guys look at government as a necessary evil and try to eliminate as much of it as they can.
A shuddering case in point is the fact that in 2018, Trump eliminated the National Security Council Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense. This office was instituted in 2016 by President Obama following the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Its purpose was to plan for rapid government-wide responses to any global health security threats.
I have no doubt that if this office were still in existence and if Obama were still president, the United States would not be lagging practically every developed country in the world on testing for COVID-19.
A strong, competent federal government must have a leader who will tell the truth to the American people and not be afraid of political consequences. What did Trump say days after he heard of the first confirmed case in the United States of COVID-19? In an interview with Joe Kernen of CNBC, Trump said, “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.”
Wash your hands, practice social distancing, and listen to Dr. Sanjay Gupta, not Donald Trump.
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