Thoughts on COVID-19 | Letter

This dilemma of our needing to choose between the economic health of those in our community and the physical health of those in our community is a result, I believe, of the failure of our nation at the national level.

We can look at diverse other nations around the world to see success stories, and compare them to our failure, and thus the dilemma we now face. For example Iceland, South Korea, New Zealand and Vietnam all chose quickly to fight COVID-19 with testing, extensive tracing, and social distancing. Those nations have now so minimized the spread of the virus that it is the obvious decision to reopen businesses and public life (with some prudent limits). In the U.S., by contrast, our leaders at the highest level denied reality and then refused to organize national and effective response.

The president used his crisis powers to keep meat processing plants open — rather than direct our abundant industrial might toward producing tests and protective equipment.

That information, of course, does not resolve our current dilemma. It does tell us who is responsible for the difficult decisions we now face. And who still retains the ability to change our situation so that we no longer need to define the dilemma as a choice between two strongly positive community needs.

David Kobrin