On Friday, President Donald Trump officially called a national emergency to deal with the ongoing threat of the coronavirus. This is the latest in a series of escalating steps that have been taken to deal with the ongoing crisis.
At his extensive news conference on Friday, the president made a serious of announcements, including the expansion of test kits by 50,000 by the early part of the week. He included presentations by major business leaders and his coronavirus task force. All the positive action spurred the largest point gain in history for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, surging 9.4% or 1,981 points on Friday.
In addition, the president declared Sunday March 15 to be a National Day of Prayer. He tweeted, “We are a Country that, throughout our history, has looked to God for protection and strength in times like these.” Of course, he is exactly right for our nation has prospered throughout our history because Americans have repeatedly asked for Divine intervention. This is the perfect time to ask for the best solution to this crisis, help from Almighty God.
While the president has been acting aggressively at a national level, governors across the country are taking bold actions in their respective states. Sporting events, business conferences, schools and other large gatherings of 250 people or more have been either canceled or postponed.
Our country is undoubtedly facing a major health crisis as the coronavirus has spread across the country. As of today, 2,499 Americans have contracted the disease and, sadly, 55 people have died. It will undoubtedly continue to spread for several more weeks or even a few months before the numbers start to decline.
The president is facing a significant health challenge to our nation. It could be the worst pandemic we have encountered since the devastating Spanish Flu of 1918 which infected about 30 million Americans, killing approximately 600,000 people.
In times of crisis, a nation needs to rally behind their leader. For our country, during this coronavirus outbreak, our nation should show solidarity with President Trump and his administration. He deserves our support for he has been taking bold and courageous action.
In late January, he made a brave decision to stop air travel from China and later expanded it to include South Korea, Italy and Iran. On Friday, starting at midnight, all flights into our country from 26 nations in Europe were stopped as well. This will be expanded to the United Kingdom and Ireland on Monday.
With every decision, his actions have been heavily criticized by Democrats and the media, which usually work in tandem. Not only has the president been accused of “partisan” or “misguided” policies, but, also unhealthy nationalism and racism.
When the president labeled the coronavirus as “foreign,” CNN White House Correspondent Jim Acosta claimed that it “is going to come across to a lot of Americans as smacking of xenophobia.” As usual, Acosta is plain wrong in his biased analysis. It is not “xenophobia,” but truth in labeling as the virus did originate in China.
By enacting the aggressive travel bans, the president is just fulfilling a policy he promoted in the 2016 election. He promised to put “America First” in everything he did as president. It is especially important during a health crisis, for President Trump to put the lives of our citizens first.
Unfortunately, this week, Democrats have used their media platform to blast President Trump. In his media statement on Wednesday, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) called the president a “pathological liar,” as well as “a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, a xenophobe and a religious bigot.” In addition, Sanders claimed the president was running a “corrupt administration” and believes he is “above the law.”
The following day, former Vice President Joe Biden, the leading candidate for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, used his media opportunity to disparage the president’s response to the coronavirus as a “colossal” failure that is infected with “xenophobia.” These types of hyperbolic criticisms were never leveled at President Barack Obama during the H1N1 epidemic of 2009 or at any other point in his administration.
While his Democratic opponents have been engaged in name calling, President Trump has been showing leadership and calling for unity. He has given a national address to the public and participated in regular press briefings on the federal government’s response to this crisis.
He is not engaging in partisan politics during this time of national emergency. On Friday night, he indicated his support for a bi-partisan coronavirus relief package that will include emergency paid sick leave and free testing. It should be passed by the U.S. Senate on Monday and the president will quickly sign it into law.
This follows the president’s support for an initial package of $8.3 billion in emergency coronavirus spending. Throughout the crisis, the president has repeatedly implored Democrats to work with him on economic packages, including a massive payroll tax cut and other financial relief, to spur growth during this emergency.
In World War II, the nation rallied behind FDR and the unity helped our country defeat two very dangerous enemies, the Nazis and the Japanese. After 9/11, the nation rallied behind President George W. Bush as his administration responded to the terrorist attack.
In this case, it is even more important for our country to put politics aside for several weeks and speak with one voice in dealing with this health challenge. President Trump is the leader of the entire nation and we need him to succeed in fighting this dangerous enemy. All Americans, Democrats and Republicans, should support his efforts today. There will be time for politics later.
Jeff Crouere is a native New Orleanian and his award winning program, “Ringside Politics,” airs locally at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and at 10:00 p.m. Sundays on PBS affiliate WLAE-TV, Channel 32, and from 7-11 a.m. weekdays on WGSO 990-AM & www.Wgso.com. He is a political columnist, the author of America’s Last Chance and provides regular commentaries on the Jeff Crouere YouTube channel and on www.JeffCrouere.com.