By Dr. Herbert Simmons, Jr.
Many Americans were under the belief and impression that the 2020 Presidential election was behind them following the November 3rd election. After days of sitting on the edge of their seats watching and waiting with great anticipation, the political pundits and major news media networks called the election for President Elect Joe Biden. We learned shortly thereafter that acceptance of such was not so with the Trump administration. In fact, as one of the headlines of my weekly articles was entitled Its Finally Over, Biden Wins Presidential Election, I unfortunately, I fell prey and subscribed to pronouncements of the national pollsters in calling the election for Biden. We had no idea that events and disinformation such as we are receiving and experiencing from the Trump administration would surface. With all the political rancor, wrangling and false claims of voter fraud alleged and promoted by President Trump and right wing supporters claiming that Biden was wrongfully declared the winner, Trump is fighting desperately using baseless claims and innuendoes to hang on to power, and refuses to concede the election to Biden. Yes, many missed the call on the outcome of the 2020 election, thinking that the call was final, oh how wrong we were!
President Trump has gone so far as to deny President Elect Biden access to the daily classified intelligence briefings. The head of the General Services Administration has been ordered by Trump to stand down and not certify the election outcome which would allow access to and release of resources to the Biden transition team. Trump is unwilling to provide for a smooth transition of power which no doubt will have serious consequences regarding the security of the nation. Those close to Trump have no political courage and under no circumstance will urge or tell Trump that it is time to get out of the way and allow a smooth transfer of power because his action is putting our democracy at risk and too much is at stake. What a message is being sent to the rest of the world!
As a result of Trump’s refusal to accept reality, the nation now finds itself embroiled in a political crisis in addition to having to face the historic and surging numbers of COVID 19 infections and deaths from the Virus,( on November 12th there were over 184 thousand new cases, (the highest number that has ever been reported in a single day), with hundreds of thousands new cases being admitted to hospitals in a single day, and soaring daily death rates. Over 245 thousand Americans (mothers, fathers, spouses, children, grandparents, nurses, doctors, caregivers and first responders) have lost their lives to COVID 19. It is predicted that by February 2021 the nation could see over 400 thousand new cases of infections per day. Wow! The nation is in a crisis that includes record unemployment, racial tensions, and unrest throughout the nation. Another lingering crisis is that of global warming which is producing more and more hurricanes, more flooding and destruction throughout the nation.
What is The Trump Administration doing to address these crises? Apparently, nothing. Recently, he has been cooped up in the White House, or spotted on the golf course while states are running out of hospital beds, makeshift morgues with refrigerated containers are springing up and being used at hospitals throughout the nation. The nation’s health pandemic has worsened to such a degree that Doctors Without Borders, a world-renown health provider is now lending aid and assistance to one of the world’s COVID hot spots, the United States of America. Although there is hope and the promise of a forthcoming vaccine, the nation is imperiled and is enduring a period in its history that citizens will long remember. We must get this pandemic under control now for it is holding the nation hostage.
What is needed most is really committed and effective leadership at the national and state levels and a coordinated national strategy for defeating this virus. We note and extend our thanks to some of the governors ,who feel they can no longer look to the national government for solutions, and are stepping up to the plate to guide their states through safety measures during this pandemic, given the silence at the White House. Governors are sounding the alarm in their states advising and encouraging citizens to following the CDC’s national guidelines of simply wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and limiting attendance of large social events and gatherings. Governors are admitting that we are running out of time as ICU units are being filled. These governors are tightening up on restrictions, just short of imposing a state lockdown. They are threating to close bars, fitness centers and are on the verge of implementing a stay at home mandate as a last-ditch effort to get the virus under control.
Dr. Herbert Simmons, Jr. is an associate Professor, Department of Criminal Justice, Grambling State University, former President, Grambling State University Faculty Senate and former Chair, Department of Consumer Education and Resource Management, Howard University, Washington, D.C.