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With Donald Trump shifting his tone on coronavirus, a message for politicians on the left

It is not, and should not be, politics as usual.

Tuesday marked a turning point in the coronavirus pandemic in the United States as President Donald Trump delivered markedly solemn remarks about the impending doom and the “very tough two weeks ahead.

It was a remarkable shift from the President’s former tone that flooded airwaves with dismissive claims that the virus was under control, and life would go back to normal sooner rather than later. Gone was his self-congratulatory tone or not-so-humblebrags about television ratings.

With that shift in mind, Trump’s foes on the left have a shift of their own to make.

Borrowing a phrase from the film Miller’s Crossing, now is not the time to say, “I told you so.”

Americans are hungry for resolution. They’re out of jobs. Their bank accounts are dwindling. Their security is in jeopardy of not only financial ruin, but contracting an illness that could kill literally anyone, not just the elderly or infirm.

There is no appetite for taunting or “I told you so” gloating.

What they are hungry for is unity.

Call for relief, but do so while offering a lending hand to an administration you might otherwise loathe. Uphold your values, but reach across the aisle. Embrace your political enemies (figuratively speaking, of course) as friends because whether Democrat or Republican, Libertarian or NPA; we are all suffering this pandemic, we are all fearful of its unrelenting grasp.

And when you’re sharing information, quote scientists and doctors, not the left’s shining stars such as Rachel Maddow or Anderson Cooper.

And why wouldn’t you do that? You, Democrats, who lob criticism at anyone who looks to Fox News as the ultimate authority on policy. How does clinging to liberal news make you any more credible?

Want to be taken seriously by your constituents with diverging political views, concede them their China argument. Yes, calling it the “China virus” is racist and wrong, but there is no question China failed the world with its lack of transparency in the early days of this crisis, wasting precious time and squandering vital data that could have been used to minimize the disease’s spread to other countries, including the U.S. It’s OK to be mad at them for that, it doesn’t make you a racist.

Table your ideological pandering. The time will come to renew debate over the Green New Deal or Medicare for All. On the latter, your argument could emerge from this virus stronger than ever.

Add to that some advice for both sides of the aisle. Those statistics you post on Facebook, those are people’s lives, not numbers.

The uptick in deaths aren’t cause for political mudslinging, they’re grandmas who will never bake another cookie, grandpas who will never pull another quarter from behind a child’s ear, moms who will never read another bedtime story, dads who will never again play catch in the yard.

The low numbers in areas slower to succumb to this demon of a pandemic are not evidence of why social distancing is unnecessary, they’re bright spots of hope that show that maybe, just maybe, there’s time to get this right.

And to those who still, despite mounting evidence and a growing body county, believe this is somehow made up or that it’s “no worse than the flu,” just stop. Right. Now.

Stop listening to people like Diamond and Silk, the media personalities Fox licensed to stream a weekly show, who this week used the airwaves to pedal conspiracy theories about the virus including claiming the spreading virus was somehow the result of manipulated stats imagined and published by the liberal, Fake News media.

“My President said on March 24, Tuesday, this past week, my President said that he would love for America to be back up and running. At the time he said it, there was 25,489 case, with 307 deaths. Instantaneously, you had the media calling President Trump out,” Silk said. “Me and you was talking, and I said, ‘Now watch the number of deaths go up. Watch everything increase,’ because they want to make it look bad in front of our eyes. Here it is, five days later, as of yesterday, it jumped from 25,480 up to 121,478 cases. It went from 307 deaths to 2,226 deaths in five days.”

Say it louder for those in the back: This. Is. How. A. Pandemic. Works.

It spreads like a weed. One asymptomatic person goes to the grocery store and infects 10 people, those ten people go out into the world and infect ten more each. And so it goes on, exponentially claiming victim after countless victim.

That’s a lot of do-nots, but there are plenty of must-dos, too.

Do FaceTime your friends and family. Check on them. Play Words with Friends. Have a digital movie night to feel together even when you’re far apart.

Do spend time with your children. Revel in the new influx of family time rather than lament it.

Do offer to help a neighbor in need. Drop groceries on their doorstep. Hail them an Uber if they must go to the doctor. Do whatever you can from a safe distance.

Do donate to charity, if you have the means. Leave a bigger tip for the delivery driver.

Above all else, come together. We are isolated, but we are not alone. Now is not the time for bickering and arguing. There will be plenty of time to get back to our hostile world of political feuding. That time is not now.

Written By

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch

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