Home Coronavirus Pandemic OPINION: All government leaders need a coronavirus course of action

OPINION: All government leaders need a coronavirus course of action

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Opinion Editor Charlotte Caldwell, a sophomore studying journalism, argues that our government leaders need to get on the same page about the coronavirus or risk more heartache for months to come.

Please note that these views and opinions do not reflect those of The New Political.


The coronavirus is exhausting. With being an essential worker and trying to balance the ridiculousness of online school, I feel like I’m losing my mind because of the lack of stability and routine. Then enter our government officials, who are as confused as the rest of the world and have no sense of direction.

Not all government officials are handling the pandemic poorly. For Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, his daily news conferences are working in his favor. In these conferences, he and the Director of the Ohio Department of Health Amy Acton have discussed everything from remote education to prisons and the next steps for closed businesses. As a result, DeWine’s approval rating has spiked to 80% during the pandemic compared to 49% approval pre-pandemic. When comparing the highest approval ratings, he is third on the list out of 50 governors and the only Republican governor in the top six.

DeWine acted early and with authority, and he has around 9,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in Ohio to show for it, which is one of the lowest numbers in the Midwest. Florida has a little over 24,000 confirmed cases, possibly due to Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ failure to close down Florida’s beaches and not issuing a stay-at-home order until April. His approval rating sits at 51%, down 7% since the pandemic started.

Many media outlets are quick to blame President Donald Trump for everything related to the coronavirus. One example comes from an opinion column from The Atlantic with the headline “This Is Trump’s Fault.” The article claims that Republican governors not acting in a timely manner is a fault that “is more widely shared, but again, responsibility rests with Trump.” If Trump would have put in place a national stay-at-home order and disregarded the opinions of the state’s governors, then our democracy as we know it would have been compromised. In this regard, Trump has handled the situation in the best way that he knows how.

This doesn’t mean that Trump hasn’t said questionable statements in his daily news conferences, like when he likened the coronavirus to a common flu. Trump is a known exaggerator of truths — and sometimes lies — and frequently gets himself into conflicts with the media when his optimism overshadows the uncertainty of the times. It would be better for everyone involved if he just talked briefly during the conference and let the experts handle the rest.

Our government leaders need to set the same course of action, otherwise, this pandemic will continue to ravage the country for months to come. It’s not too late for governors to get real about the severity of the pandemic — they could end up potentially saving thousands of lives by doing so.

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