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Sadly, as a country we are no longer united

We are no longer the “United” States of America. We have become two separate societies depending upon which political party we support and where we get our information. This is particularly ominous in the middle of a pandemic, a presidential election and with Russia continuing to influence us through social media.

Unfortunately, President Trump is not helpful when it comes to uniting our country. Everyone who disagrees with him is the enemy – the Democrats, the media, the FBI – anyone – even those he has hired. If they don’t adopt his point of view, they don’t stay around very long. He makes decisions not from the advice of experts and science but from his gut feelings and from questionable sources. Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx have been silenced as has the CDC and their guidelines on the steps businesses must take to safely reopen. And coronavirus cases and deaths continue to rise exponentially.

President Trump should have used the Defense Production Act two months ago to make sure we had enough tests, protective gear, equipment and medications and he should have appointed a czar (who knew what he was doing) to make sure the supplies went where they were needed. As businesses prematurely reopen, it won’t be long until states are again competing with each other for these supplies with no help from the federal government.

Likewise, President Trump should have acted when he saw that the food supply chain had been broken as farmers were destroying food and milk. He should have anticipated the problem and made sure the food was distributed to those that were hungry and standing in food lines. But he did finally use the Defense Production Act to keep chicken, beef and pork plants open.

The people that work on our farms and in our meat-processing plants are mostly migrants – documented and undocumented. As the growing season approaches, more and more migrant labor will be needed to harvest our food.

And since we don’t value these workers by making sure they have a safe place to work with health care and testing (and places to wash their hands), our food supply will be in question as these workers die from the coronavirus which will continue to spread unabated.

Governor DeWine did very well at first. He shut down our businesses, told us to stay home and wear face masks and we did. Now Governor DeWine tells us we don’t have to wear face masks as he reopens businesses in Ohio even though our cases and death rates continue to climb. Instead of making a sign to thank essential workers, why not wear a face mask to protect yourself and everyone you might come into contact with for the 1-2 hours you might be shopping? And what about the essential people that provide you with meat and produce? President Trump has ordered that the meat plants stay open but he doesn’t seem concerned about the well-being of the workers.

All the testing around President Trump and Vice-President Pence fell short of being effective because their staffs were not keeping a safe distance from each other and wearing face masks. Perhaps they should have practiced what Drs. Fauci, Birx and the CDC were telling them and worked to unite our country in fighting this pandemic instead of dividing us.

Carol Lazear Mitchell

Marietta

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