Politics and the Pandemic

By Daniel Darling

USA Today published my latest oped on politics and the pandemic. Here is an excerpt: 

We are learning more and more about the virus every day and our responses are getting smarter and more targeted. And our best and brightest minds are working feverishly to develop vaccines and treatments to hold back this deadly contagion that threatens our most vulnerable.

But we cannot succeed if we are divided. We need less finger-pointing and more cooperation. We need our institutions to display greater transparency. We need leaders with credibility in a time of cynicism.

It erodes public trust when public officials shame one kind of public gathering and encourage another. It’s not very thoughtful when others confuse wearing a mask with an infringement of liberty. And it fans the flame of division when media outlets let bias and sensationalism shape their coverage instead of informing the public and reporting the facts.

What we need are leaders willing to speak candidly and take measures, not guided by social media chatter or media pressure, but based on the data in front of them and informed by human dignity. We need hope and realism, faith and science, courage and civility.

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