America suffers, time to scrub in

America suffers, time to scrub in

Yesterday at 5 p.m., I turned on my TV expecting a briefing from the White House on the current state of the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, I was forced into a time machine dragging me back to second grade on the recess playground as the classic game of he-said-she-said interrupted any sort of news from being delivered. 

We are in the midst of a global pandemic, yet our president meant to lead us and our media meant to inform us spend more time pointing fingers at one another like elementary children rather than composing themselves like adults. 

I don’t write political pieces. I never have, and I swore I never would. But this is not a political matter. 

The coronavirus has been called the great equalizer. It doesn’t care if you live in New York or Indiana. It doesn’t matter if you voted for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. It seems it doesn’t even care if you’re 28 or 82. 

We are in the midst of war, with the virus our greatest opponent, and yet our own people are turning against themselves. How can we defeat this threat to our nation when we can’t even have a civil discussion on the enemy? 

The media is upset. The President is upset. And they both have the right to be. 

The media told two stories. Back in January, they told the story of nothing more than the flu that posed no threat to public health. Now, they tell the story of a president who could have done more in the face of a pandemic. 

And they are right. Our president could have done more. Our president could pay more attention to the tweets he sends out. Our president could have more reign over his mouth in public settings. 

But the coronavirus doesn’t care. It does no good to discuss what could have been done, when orders should have been enacted, or who made the wrong call. 

When a new COVID-19 patient is rushed to the hospital in an ambulance because their lungs are giving up and the enemy is securing its victory, the nurses don’t stop to ask the patient where he went and what he did wrong. They don’t scrutinize him for wandering into the grocery store that day or breathing shared air between him and the cashier. 

The doctors don’t point fingers; they simply treat the situation at hand. 

Our president and our journalists need to act more like the doctors. 

Right now, on April 14, it does not matter what the president could have done back in February. It does not matter what the media said about the coronavirus back in February. What matters today is what our leaders, our journalists, and our people do to treat the case we’ve been assigned. 

The patient–our country–is on the stretcher, lungs gasping for air and bones exhausted from fighting. 

Are those with political influence–both the government and the media–going to scrub in and take the lead or are they going to argue over the treatment plan, pointing fingers like school children until it is simply too late?