I have to confess that I have never been on a cruise ship. But once many years ago, I was on a sailboat that made a harrowing trip from an Italian island Ponza to Rome, that ran into a serious storm.
During a frightening eight hours, the boat tossed and turned, and for a few moments, I seriously thought that my life was coming to a premature end.
Each day, when I turn on the morning news, I get that same helpless feeling that we are living in a country that, like that sailboat, is being tossed and turned, with no idea what the next day will bring.
Two months ago, we seemed to be on the road to a declining number of deaths from Covid-19 and very few reported cases. New York State, thanks to Gov. Cuomo, had flattened the curve, and the number of deaths and new cases had declined rapidly.
Most other states were either stabilizing or announcing few or no cases and the nation seemed to be moving in the right direction. And then in the name of re-opening our economy everything went wrong.
I have no doubt that when President Trump was a high-flying real estate executive, he would consult with his team to see what the trends were and who were his prospective buyers.
But because of pure politics, and the coming November election, Mr. Trump decided that virus be damned, it’s time to open up America for business. Because the president has a number of Republican governors who will do anything to make the boss happy, they willingly let their states relax any and all precautions were thrown to the wind.
Having ignored the concerns of federal health officials, these states are now suffering from a rising infection rate and an increasing death toll.
Some of the nitwits, like Gov. DeSantis of Florida, claimed that the rising number of cases was due to more testing. But that theory has been debunked now that most of Florida’s ICU units are at capacity.
A few months ago, Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick said that he was willing to let a few old folks die if that’s what it took to get the economy rolling. Now with an exploding number of cases, he is calling for masks and stay at home protection.
During the early stages of the pandemic, the country was suffering from a lack of gloves, masks and other protective equipment. New York, like many other states, was begging for federal help to get these items.
For a few short weeks, the president was paying attention to the crises, and his Covid-19 team and other agencies jumped in with support. I like others, thought that over the next few months, the government would begin filling up its warehouses with all of these items and that any future emergency could be swiftly dealt with.
Sadly, with 31 states suffering from spiking numbers of infections, the warehouses have only a minimal supply of any vital supplies.
I clearly remember President Trump standing in a Michigan auto plant in May proclaiming that “there are plenty of testing materials available and everyone who wants a test can get one.”
It’s now late July, and it turns out that his remarks, like many others, is a bold-faced lie. One suffering state after another is reporting a lack of testing capacity and is begging for federal help. The president in turn says it’s a state problem.
To show how bad things are, his ex-chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, just pronounced that it is “inexcusable that at this point in the pandemic there are problems getting tested.”
If you watch the faces of the governors and local officials in affected states, you will sense that they are in full panic, fearing that the worst that is yet to come. Where is the president?
He is busy commuting prison sentences for his friend Roger Stone and is fighting with China, a few months after he proclaimed they were his “best friends.” In his spare time he tweets and tweets. It reminds me of Nero fiddling while Rome burns.
This very moment feels like the nation is heaving to and from in uncharted waters, while our president is totally disconnected from the needs of America. I pray that between now and Election Day, when the voters will speak, that the ship of state doesn’t sink.