Future US presidents must not be allowed to manage any type of pandemic

We can’t keep doing things “the old way’, especially when they don’t work. It’s time to make this critically important change.


This country has 4% of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s cases of Covoid-19. How in the world did that massive imbalance ever come to be? What caused it? Well, let me spell out the answer for everyone. It’s spelled T-R-U-M-P. He caused this huge imbalance and is personally responsible because, even when it was very clear that this virus was beginning to spread, he stood by and did little to nothing for 2 months.

The lesson that we need to learn from the pathetic way that this response to the virus was handled is that, in the future, this nation’s top scientists must be in charge of managing any pandemic that hits America. A US president can assist these experts by bringing their message and advice to the American people, but that’s all.

To make this crucially important change, Congress will need to appoint a 5-member permanent commission that will develop a comprehensive plan to be used when and if a virus, or related health threat, materializes. No US president should be in charge; he or she can only help in the efforts by keeping Americans aware of what scientists are doing and asking them to follow the guidelines that have been created for Americans to minimize risks to themselves and others.

Just think about where we would be today relative to the number of cases of this virus and the deaths that have taken place if Doctors Fauci, Birx, and other medical experts had been in charge, instead of Trump, when this threat was brought to light. We wouldn’t have 25% of the world’s cases, not anywhere near that number. And many thousands of Americans would still be alive.

Some will say, wait a minute, a president or a head of government is the top official in a country and must be in charge of the response to any pandemic. I say no, and here is why. There are the leaders of a country who are great and know how to lead. Others are just plain terrible in the realm of leadership. And then we have those in between.

In dire circumstances, such as this current Covid-19 threat, the people of a nation need to have scientists and other top-level medical experts in charge since they are best qualified to deal with it. The last thing that they need is to have some politician managing the process, one who is not only unqualified but doesn’t have the slightest idea on how to assemble a team of experts to help him manage all facets of the response.

When I talk about someone who] is clearly unqualified to lead such efforts I am, quite obviously, speaking of Donald J. Trump. This pitiful, pathetic excuse for a president and leader has done a horrendous job of managing the response to the virus threat in America and has, by his bungling, caused the deaths of untold numbers of Americans.

Probably the worst thing he has done is to stymie scientist’ efforts, continuously getting in their way., His TV progress sessions were a total joke and everyone could see the extreme frustration of Dr. Fauci and his associates who had to stand behind Trump like they were some kind of puppets on his strings. 

Instead of encouraging Americans to follow the guidelines of the CDC, Trump, by his attitude and actions, is telling Americans that there is no need to wear masks or to practice social distancing. And that has resulted in many millions of Americans following that advice which has created more and more cases of Covid-19. 

Now, how would scientists have managed the response to the virus threat differently? They would have started in mid-January when it became known that the coronavirus was infecting people in Wuhan, China. They would waste no time in the development of plans on how to respond to the threat; assigning team members to determine to what extent medical facilities all over this country did not have the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment, PPE, respirators, and medical supplies.

If they determined that there was a shortage of masks, swabs, respirators, or other necessary medical supplies, they would have told the president to use his power to have various businesses in America greatly increase the production of whatever equipment and supplies were needed.

In this scenario, the president would still be the Commander-in-Chief, but in the case of the pandemic, he would accede his power to the scientists. These medical experts would be operating like the Secretary of Defense who recommends necessary military action to the president, or the Treasury Secretary who does the same thing relative to financial matters. 

This commission would coordinate all facets of this process with the governors of each state. They would see that the governors closely followed the guidelines that they developed. Those governors who refused to cooperate and insisted on going their own way would be censured and taken to task by the Congress and the president, using their powers to get them to cooperate.

The president would, more or less, assume the role of the nation’s cheerleader. He or she would travel across America holding rallies in which they would be motivating Americans to follow the guidelines set down by the scientists and the commission. They would not be holding political rallies while the pandemic was escalating.

America needs to learn a valuable lesson relative to how this pandemic was managed. The lesson is that Donald J. Trump is the perfect example of why scientists, not the president, should be in charge and manage the response to any type of pandemic.

We can’t keep doing things “the old way’, especially when they don’t work. It’s time to make this critically important change. 


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Michael Payne is an independent progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues; and especially with the great dangers involved with the proliferation of perpetual war, the associated defense industry, and the massive control that Corporate America holds over this government and our election process; all which are leading this nation down the road to eventual financial ruin if the conditions are not reversed. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois and a U.S. Army veteran.