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President failing to lead on pandemic

DEAR EDITOR:

At Kent State University 50 years ago this spring, people protested against a government making decisions against overwhelming popular opinion. Things came to a head with the Ohio National Guard firing upon and killing college students.

Now I think about the coronavirus and the president’s effusive praise of himself for handling a crisis while Americans continue to die. He refuses to release funds using the Defense Production Act to pay companies to manufacture test kits so we can all be tested. His refusal to issue the tests comes from his pride, and he doesn’t care that American lives hang in the balance.

He has ordered seizure of equipment states expected, claiming them, instead, for the U.S. government stockpile. If not for the people of this country, for whom is he stockpiling them?

He says it’s up to the governors whether states reopen, but he decided a long time ago that we were going to reopen this country whether it killed people or not. He has coerced governors with threats of opposition when they run for re-election. He threatened to withhold other forms of state funding the states desperately need as people are not out paying sales taxes in their local stores. Believe me, we’ll be seeing school, police and firefighter levies on our ballots in a year.

In places where the majority of employees working at meat plants are testing positive for the virus and they want to stay home, he orders the companies to stay open, and employees are told that if they don’t come to work, they will be fired, lose their health insurance and won’t be eligible for unemployment benefits. Is that all our rights mean for American workers, after all?

I caution people about believing the propaganda that Donald Trump dispenses.

The American people must speak up for their rights. They cannot remain the sacrificial lambs of a narcissistic leader who genuinely believes his greatness justifies the sacrifice of their lives in order to resurrect the economy and assure his re-election. Testing still won’t be available, and the death count will continue to rise.

To our elected officials I say I know the country must be reopened — but can we please have test kits?

LINDA COCUZZI RICHTER

Niles

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