By Reyshimar Arguelles
As we descend further into this health crisis, people need to look towards their leaders for clarity in the face of chaos. But one couldn’t help but wonder if the pandemic could have picked a better time than now when countries are being run by personalities who shouldn’t even be allowed to host a children’s party.
I guess we only reap what we sow when we elect people who end up being more serious threats. There are things we cannot begin to explain. But at this point, the best we can do is to roll with the punches and point out the unfunny parody being presented to us right now.
First off, we have Donald Trump who, in typical MAGA fashion, keeps saying his administration is on top of everything. During his rally at Tulsa, Trump blamed the rise of CoViD-19 cases in the United States to testing, as if testing causes CoViD-19 and not the virus itself.
In what could pass off as another bizarre blunder of his administration, Trump wanted to slow down testing for CoViD-19 because the United States would look bad if the number of cases keeps going up. This is the same as denying you lost an arm after a horrific accident.
Of course, the White House press team rallied to defend Trump’s offputting and unscientific (should we say more?) remarks. In their defense, Trump made the statement in jest, blaming the news media for misconstruing his words and painting the leader of the “world’s greatest democracy” as an apathetic buffoon.
Boy, were the White House damage control team so wrong in trying to save what little integrity is left in American politics. In a recent interview on CBN News, Trump really meant what he said in believing that testing worsens CoViD-19 in the country. What is even striking is the fact that he is more concerned with how the United States is represented than with providing accurate and timely information that’s crucial to life-saving decisions and policies.
To be shocked by Trump’s is an understatement in itself. What more could we expect from someone whose only mode of success is to slap his name on anything that could be commodified including the presidency?
Now that the weaknesses of his administration have been exposed coupled with his government’s proto-fascist tendencies, Trump’s bandwagon has been jeopardized and made even more flimsy after every gaff. Even then, Trump’s consistent knack for bad decisions will only embolden yet another, equally apathetic and egotistic camp: that of former Vice President Joe Biden.
Let’s leave the issues right where they are and let the chips fall where they may. Right now, we need to address the effects of having ego-driven leaders. Of course, we cannot discuss ego without ever mentioning Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro who, after months of being indifferent towards the plight of his people, has just received a scolding from a judge who ordered him to wear a mask in public.
Sure enough, it just keeps getting better elsewhere in the rest of the world. During his weekly televised address on the Philippines’ CoViD-19 response efforts, President Duterte scolded Cebuanos for having the most number of confirmed cases outside of Metro Manila.
So, instead of auditing the country’s reactions to the pandemic early on, the government has the gall to pin the worsening situation on people in what could come off as a very unwise move.
What can we learn from these examples except for the fact that we deserve better in a crisis where human life is more important than appearances.
The best we can do now is to demand an accounting and at least get decent, actionable information.