On May 1st, 2003, President George W. Bush landed on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln clad in a combat flight suit – like Tom Cruise in “Top Gun.” Later he gave a speech to the assembled crewmembers. With a banner behind him reading “Mission Accomplished!” he asserted that “major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed.”
At that point in the Iraq War the American deaths totaled 104. By the end of the war nine years later, 3,528 American servicemen and women had lost their lives.
On April 29th, 2020, President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner characterized the federal government’s response to the coronavirus crisis as “a great success story.” He went on to say, “I think you will see by June, a lot of the country should be back to normal, and the hope is that by July the country is really rocking again.”
Yesterday, the CDC revised its prediction of the final number of coronavirus deaths in America to 134,000 – roughly double what it had predicted just a few days before. This increase can be attributed to analysts taking into account the premature relaxation of social distancing measures as the Trump administration attempts to restart the economy.
What do we learn from a comparison of these two cases? That when our leaders put their personal political interests ahead of the public welfare, the result is, all too often, heaps of dead bodies.
Kelly Anspaugh, Ada
2754 Township Road 35
Ada, OH 45810