Plenty of political blame-laying and it’s just starting

Although the nation has only just begun burying its coronavirus dead, the finger pointing has already started on who’s to blame for the uneven response the U.S. has had to the pandemic.

Republicans claim, among other things, that Democrats did too little when President Barack Obama was in power to prepare the nation for the kind of catastrophe that’s now unfolding. Larger stockpiles of face masks and ventilators, for example, should have been set aside is among key claims.

Clearly, there is a measure of truth in those allegations.

Democrats, meanwhile, assert that President Donald Trump lost precious preparation time early on, first by denying there was a problem and once the problem was here, blaming this person and that one for the mess.

There is truth here, too.

From where we sit, there is plenty of blame to go round, once the nation emerges from the virus haze. Both Democrats and Republicans of whatever stripe could have done more — indeed, much more — at a time when medical professionals have been warning that this kind of outbreak was all but inevitable. Put another way, it wasn’t a matter of if, but when, they warned.

Although the political parties have been at each other’s throats nonstop since Clinton was in office, both could use this tragedy to heal old wounds and find common ground. Going forward, Democrats and Republicans could start governing on behalf of the people, not in spite of them.

But as we have ruefully observed on many previous occasions in this space, that’s going to take political leadership of a type and nature we just don’t see very much of on either side of the aisle.

America needs a hero, someone who will step forward and seize the initiative. But who will it be?


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