Columnist explains how Biden can fix one of Trump's most 'destructive failures'
The United States reached another tragic milestone in the coronavirus pandemic this week when the country's COVID-19 death count, according to Johns Hopkins University, passed 300,000. President-elect Joe Biden will inherit a massive health crisis after his inauguration on January 20 — one that, liberal Washington Post opinion writer Greg Sargent stresses in his column, President Donald Trump has gone out of his way to politicize.
"For President Trump, the coronavirus amounted to little more than a weapon of convenience — a way to realize his deranged goal of deepening national division," Sargent writes. "Which has saddled Joe Biden with a huge challenge: the imperative of converting it into an occasion for national unity."
Sargent discussed Biden's coronavirus response with David Kessler, who is serving as co-chairman of the president-elect's COVID-19 advisory board. And as Kessler sees it, the pandemic offers an "enormous opportunity for the country to come together."
"At the end of the day," Kessler told Sargent, "this is about the president-elect connecting with the American public to emphasize that wearing masks not only protects you, it protects the people around you — your family, friends, neighbors. And it's a patriotic duty."
According to Kessler, the fact so many people have been affected by COVID-19 makes it harder to deny its deadly impact.
Kessler told Sargent, "There was a time during this epidemic when the average person said, 'I don't know anyone who was affected.' That has changed. Every family has been touched in one way or another."The Post columnist has high hopes for Biden's messaging on a COVID-19 vaccine.
"The Biden team is already laying the groundwork for an intense communications campaign designed to persuade the public to accept vaccines," Sargent explains. "A lot is riding on the rollout. If it goes well, it could boost confidence in government and science alike."
According to Sargent, the pandemic gives Biden a chance to show that government can work for the country's common good.
"Biden faces some truly epic challenges next year," Sargent observes. "But look closely, and you can see that the opportunities are also vast."
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