Hi there, Dear Reader. It’s late morning here in New Hometown, Florida on Wednesday, December 30, 2020. Presently, the temperature is 61˚F (16˚C) under cloudy skies. With humidity at 94% and a becalmed wind, the feels-like factor is 61˚F (16˚C). Apparently, we are in a bit of a warming trend; today’s forecast calls for mostly sunny skies and a high of 79˚F (26˚C); tonight we can expect mostly clear skies and a low of 64˚F (18˚C).
Well, 2020 is almost over. In my time zone, the Year from Hell (or, if you prefer, the Year of the Pandemic) only has a little over 36 hours left before we make the transition to 2021. Unfortunately – as I write this – there are 1,793, 150 men, women, and children (including 338,656 Americans) who won’t see the New Year because they succumbed to the COVID-19 virus, and there are 82,100,010 active cases world-wide, including 19,516,147 in the U.S. and its territories.
As the year draws to a well-deserved end, I can’t help but wonder how many people who died from COVID-19 might have been saved had the outgoing President of the United States, one Donald John Trump, not contributed to the muddle-headed, disorganized, and highly politicized American reaction to the pandemic. I mean, seriously. Considering that Trump supporters have a tendency to support anything that the 45th President proposes, we would not be the world’s worst-hit nation-state if Trump had, from Day One, come out in favor of the following guidelines:
- Wear a mask
- Stand 6 feet apart
- Avoid crowds
I’ve already written a number of posts about Trump’s haphazard and incompetent reaction to the pandemic here in A Certain Point of View, Too, so I won’t bore you with more “Worst Trump Quotes Regarding COVID” lists or rants about his dubious behavior after he and his wife were infected with the virus. Suffice it to say, though, that I hold him personally responsible for every American death caused by the pandemic.
As other political commentators far more prominent than I have pointed out, a President’s reputation is made or unmade by how he – or she – handles a major crisis, whether it is a Great Depression, a global war, or a public health emergency. By fumbling the federal government’s response to the ongoing pandemic, Donald J. Trump failed the leadership test, and in a big way.
Thankfully, when 2021 begins in a day and a half, the Trump Administration will be out of office (regardless of what he and and followers say), and a new President will be sworn in at noon on January 20, 2021.
And that, Dear Reader, is something that I will silently cheer at midnight on January 1, 2021.