Letter: Trump’s response to COVID-19 disturbing

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 1, 2020

It is not easy for our current government leaders to deal with the most serious crisis since World War II. 

When Harry Truman became president upon Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s death, he had to make some difficult decisions, including dropping the atomic bomb. His desk sign said, “the buck stops here.” During his 1953 farewell address, he stated, “The president — whoever he is — has to decide. He can’t pass the buck to anybody. No one else can do the deciding for him. That’s his job.”

On March 13, President Donald Trump, talking about COVID-19 stated, “I don’t take responsibility at all.”

More disturbing is his irresponsible call for his supporters to “liberate” states that have set stay-at-home rules. Shifting blame to others is what he does. While I feel for all of those unemployed people and for the affected small businesses, the numbers don’t lie. We have tens of thousands of COVID-19 deaths with more to come.

Most of the protesters are not practicing social distancing or wearing masks. The president’s disdain for science has spread to his followers. He is irresponsible and, thus, they have become equally irresponsible. Couple this with Vice President Mike Pence not wearing a mask at the Mayo Clinic.

Also disturbing are the shouts by the protesters that COVID-19 is a “hoax.”  Again, the protesters are repeating one of the president’s favorite words for shifting blame from himself to others. Try convincing the relatives of the Citadel Salisbury residents that have died that this virus is a hoax. 

We are subjected to the daily campaign rallies disguised as COVID-19 updates. One of these included a video absolving the president of any blame. When a reporter has the temerity to question any administration decision, that reporter is met with hostility and ridicule by the president. 

That reminds me of another Harry Truman quote: “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!”   

— Jerry Forthofer