To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

New Observercast

We Could Have Opened Schools In The Fall

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We could have opened schools in the fall if Trump had not treated the virus like a hoax and downplayed the seriousness of the threat in February.

We could have opened schools in the fall if Trump had been more concerned in February and early March about the virus than he was about its impact on the stock market, if he had prioritized public health over the health of Wall Street.

We could have opened schools in the fall if Trump had created a robust testing and contact-tracing program like South Korea and we were able to contain the virus in the early weeks of its spread.

We could have opened schools in the fall if Trump had imposed a national lockdown in early March with no arbitrary reopening date.

We could have opened schools in the fall if Trump had not tweeted that we should liberate states weeks before lockdowns should have ended.

We could have opened schools in the fall if governors had not followed Trump’s call to reopen states weeks too early in noncompliance with CDC guidelines.

We could have opened schools in the fall if Trump had not chosen to make not wearing masks a symbol of political loyalty to him instead of taking the lead by modeling mask wearing as a way to slow community spread.

We could have opened schools in the fall if Trump had created a national mask mandate so that when the time was right the economy could open more safely.

We could have opened schools in the fall if Trump had listened to the public health experts instead of trying to discredit them to distract from his incompetent and criminally negligent response to a global pandemic.

We could have opened schools in the fall if Trump had not done all of these things or if Trump had not been president to do all of these things, but Trump is the president and he did all these things, so we cannot open schools in the fall because to do so in the midst of a massive surge in cases, hospitalizations, and now increased deaths would be both immoral and murderous.

The only morally responsible thing to do is to reverse course on all of the mistakes Trump has made for the sake of his own political and economic gain and work as hard as we can to be able to open schools in the spring if the public health experts say there is evidence that it is safe to do so.

I wish we could open schools in the fall, but we can’t because Donald J. Trump is president of the United States of America.

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Mark Y. A. Davies
Mark Y. A. Davies
Mark Y.A. Davies is the Wimberly Professor of Social and Ecological Ethics and director of the World House Institute for Social and Ecological Responsibility at Oklahoma City University. Click for more of his essays. OneWorldHouse.net