who will lead?

Day 32. The pressure to a return to “normalcy” is building.

The economic consequences resulting from the drastic steps taken to protect the public’s health are enormous and increasing daily. More and more businesses are concerned with how long they can hold on and millions more Americans are being furloughed or loosing their jobs daily. It goes without saying – everyone will agree – the sooner that America can get back to work the better. But just repeatedly announcing, as President Trump does daily, an arbitrarily selected date by which the country will somehow miraculously return to work, with no specific, thoughtful plan of action based on a calculated and calibrated risk/benefit analysis, is not only not constructive, it is downright dangerous.

I think about this in very personal terms as I read newspaper reports about Trump, about governors who say individuals should make their own decisions (as if the corona virus does not spread by contact), and about protesters rallying against stay at home orders . After two months of working remotely and staying at home I, for one, do not want to be forced to risk my health and the health of my family and co-workers because the reentry plan was ill conceived, directed by those who believe the “cure is worse than the disease”, or the result of pressure by one’s political base. Those who profess a willingness to risk their own health should not be in a position to force their views on others. Rather, public health officials, infectious disease scientists ,and economists should be the professionals providing the advice, designing the plan, and educating the decision makers. Uneducated gut instincts are not enough.

The next few days and weeks will be critical. Will we be put at risk by those who simply talk a lot? Or will we be guided out of this crisis by those who carefully study and develop a plan of action? Our health and our economy depend on the answer to these questions.

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