Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Waiting On Sane Leadership to Respond To This

While we're all waiting for the next 24 hours to ensure we transition from a maddeningly inept trump administration to a more competent Biden admin, we need to make note of the major crisis still affecting our nation and the world: The COVID-19 Pandemic is ongoing, has swung upward across many nations on a third wave following the winter holidays. The United States reached 400,000 dead due to the virus (remember naysayers were whining "oh it's not as lethal as the regular flue" or "we have more people dying in car accidents than this," and have been proven very very wrong) and we're all waiting on vaccine programs to reach enough people to ensure a likely end to a virus that has been threatening the entire planet.

Problem is, we're still living under a cloud of extreme incompetence - trump's own Health and Human Services department revealed they lied about the amount of vaccines ready for second booster shots, ruining many states' plans for the near future - and we're facing the likelihood of the pandemic stretching well into Summer 2021 before we can feel even a modicum of relief.

It's feeling a lot worse down here in Florida, where the leadership out of Governor DeSantis borders between delusional and destructive. There's this to consider (via Lawrence Mower, Mary Ellen Klas, Ana Ceballos, Kirby Wilson and Allison Ross the Tampa Bay Times):

Ten months into the coronavirus pandemic, DeSantis’ hands-off governing style is still frustrating Floridians, health care industry groups and elected officials. Where they struggled to decipher the governor’s vague or conflicting orders at the start of the pandemic, they’re now scrambling to adapt to his ever-changing vaccination strategy.

In the last month, mayors in Miami-Dade have begged DeSantis for a phone call. Long-term care facilities resorted to contacting the media to get the governor’s attention. State hospital officials, including DeSantis’ former health secretary, continued to assert that his decision to have hospitals vaccinate the public saddled them with an unprecedented logistical task with COVID-19 hospitalizations surging.

The result has led to desperate seniors flooding health department websites and tying up phone lines, signing up for fake vaccine appointments and sleeping in their cars outside public health centers, embarrassing images of incompetence and confusion for the nation’s third-largest state...

Part of the problem is that DeSantis is an ambitious man: This is less about his running for re-election in 2022 as it is running for the Presidency in 2024. DeSantis is sucking up to his patron donald trump, by pandering to trump's broken narrative about the pandemic and downplaying the severity of the entire thing.

As a result, DeSantis is doing what trump did: dodging the responsibilities of leading on the issue, avoiding contact with the organizations and providers on the ground who need leadership to ensure things are getting done, and going after the image of success instead of the hard work to actually succeed.

You'll notice DeSantis is spending more time denouncing Biden's planned agenda to speed up the vaccine distribution and access than he is handling the crisis itself.

You'll notice that DeSantis is spending more time persecuting his biggest in-state critic Rebekah Jones with arrests on a questionable charge than he is meeting with health care providers to work towards improving our state's growing health care disaster.

You'll notice the current numbers for Florida infection and death rates on COVID-19 are going UP not down (screenshot made on January 18 2021):

This is where we're at: State-level leadership failing to lead on a serious health care crisis, and likely poised to sabotage the incoming federal leadership on the pandemic just to make President Biden look bad.

We're getting competent leadership in Washington DC tomorrow. I wish we were getting competent leadership Tallahassee to work alongside that.

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