Steven Clark

 

Different political parties, different

approaches to coronavirus issues

 

5-07-2020

 

Democrats and Republicans have contrasting views and priorities about how to approach the coronavirus pandemic and resulting economic crisis.  How would you describe these priorities, and why do you favor your party’s approach?

 

Steve Clark

There are so many parts to this answer. First, I’m proud that President Trump led the world by being the first to restrict travel to and from China.

I’m grateful that he quickly recognized the danger, organized the COVID-19 task force led by Vice President Pence and pulled together the full weight of the government to quickly and effectively fight this pandemic.

From the start, the president showed he valued every American life and put every national asset to work to combat this virulent illness. He opened the health resources owned by the federal government to every state. He marshaled private industry, requiring it to manufacture critical medical machinery and personal protective equipment.

Though he knew it would have devastating economic effects, Trump recommended tough guidelines in regard to businesses staying open and instituted social distancing, showing that he places human life ahead of business profits, and humanity ahead of his personal interests.

For individual families, he undertook the country’s largest cash distribution direct to citizens in history and took important steps that will make sure we have an economy left at the end of the crisis.

You ask whether I favor his priorities. Yes. Absolutely. I will favor the lives of the American people over funding of the Lincoln Center or Planned Parenthood every time.

While Democrats led by Nancy Pelosi steadfastly try to use the crisis to advance their insatiable social agenda, President Trump and Republicans have put a social agenda aside in favor of making sure each of us survive physically and economically. What say you, Alison?

 

Alison Anderson

Democrats generally favor a strong federal government leading the way for the states; we approve of comprehensive health care.

The current pandemic brought the fact that the U.S. has no national health program into sharp focus.

Now would’ve been a good time to have a strong healthcare network, which could cooperate in directing supplies where they’re most needed, rather than states competing with one another and with the federal government.

Particularly during the Trump era, Republican leaders have rejected scientists and their influence on government policy.

To combat an infectious contagion like the coronavirus, we’ll need our best researchers and scientists to develop treatments and vaccines, and we’ll need to heed their advice and warnings.

Instead, President Trump initially denied the severity of the threat. (He stated at his rallies that in April the virus would “disappear;” yet more than 50,000 Americans died of COVID in April.)

He has advocated for ineffective treatment and even speculated that injecting disinfectants into patients might work. He’s claimed that his travel ban from China has saved millions of lives; yet 40,000-plus people have come to the United States. directly from China since the ban. Moreover, genetic testing on the coronaviruses that have infected many Americans have been found them to be linked to Europe, not to China.

If, as you say, Trump and the Republican leadership have been so effective in “making sure each of us survive physically and economically,” what do you say to the families of the 70,000-plus who have died and the 26 million-plus who are unemployed?

 

Steve Clark

I and Republicans care deeply. I say to those families that we share your grief and pray for you daily. Remember when the coronavirus curve was thought to be 300,000 or more, possibly even a million deaths. Because of President Trump’s swift and decisive actions, we don’t have to grieve for those additional hundreds of thousands.

To the unemployed I say, “Hang on. Don’t panic. We’re all in this together. Better to be temporarily unemployed than you or a family member ending up dead.”

The president didn’t promise the virus would disappear in April. What he said was, “There’s a theory that in April, when it gets warm,— historically, that has been able to kill the virus. So we don’t know yet; we’re not sure yet.”

This was in the exact same timeframe when the Chinese were concealing their own infections and telling the world that the virus couldn’t spread human to human

You say the country has no national health program. You’re wrong. We have a strong health program built around private insurance that covers the vast majority of Americans. Seniors have Medicare that they have paid into over their working lives. The poor and indigent have Medicaid, and veterans have VA medical care they earned by serving their country.

Nancy Pelosi, the titular leader of the Democrat Party, and many other leading Democrats believe that the only legitimate health program is a federally based, single-payer, mandatory plan that puts all private insurers out of business and gives us the kind of health care that Canadians and other people around the world sometimes come here to avoid.

Democrats want us to close our eyes and let the federal government take over health care. Republicans say, “…Take away my choice and you take away my freedom.” To Republicans, inviting the federal government into our lives should be the last resort, not the only choice.

 

Alison Anderson

You assert that Trump’s “swift and decisive actions” have reduced the U.S. death toll. It’s much more likely that the curve has been flattened by social distancing—not by travel bans.

Are you certain that deaths are quickly declining? I doubt that in Utah we’ve seen the worst yet, and next fall, the virus may return.

Your statement that Democrats “want the government to take over health care” is a misguided oversimplification. A fair summary would be that Democrats want good, affordable health care for all Americans, with freedom from fear of accidents or illnesses that cause financial ruin.

Because nearly all hospitals and healthcare systems in our country are “for profit” businesses, they don’t provide affordable care to those who are underinsured.

The No. 1 cause of bankruptcy in the U.S. is medical bills. No system is perfect, but where taxes cover basic medical costs and the government limits exorbitant charges, families aren’t devastated financially by serious illnesses. Imagine what a hospital bill will be for weeks of care in a pulmonary ICU on a ventilator!

Regarding the 16 percent of nonworking Americans, Mitch McConnell suggests that the states, overwhelmed with paying unemployment benefits to millions, should just declare bankruptcy and that he’s against “blue state bailouts.”

Seriously? The truth is that there are many poor red “taker” states (Kentucky included) that get more than their fair share of federal funds while highly populated urban blue states like New York pay more than they receive from Congress.

McConnell certainly isn’t “in this together” with the rest of us if he advocates state government bankruptcies.

Alison Anderson