At some point — certainly not by Easter and maybe not by Easter 2021 — we will have enough space to look back and consider what we learned from the coronavirus crisis.

Maybe we’ll have a new understanding of the interdependence of all humankind that will encourage us to treat one another with more consideration and compassion. Maybe. If so, we’ll have learned only what literature, art, music, philosophy and religion have been trying to teach us for millennia. We may wonder why it took such a hard lesson in suffering and death to finally make it stick.

But the far side of the crisis is in the future, and we might do better to pay attention to things that we have learned so far and whether they can help us find our way out of this.

Let’s start with two practical ideas that have a bearing on the election in November: First, the Hamiltonians have been vindicated. At the risk of oversimplification, the heart of American politics since our founding has been the tension between Americans who favor a weak federal government (Jeffersonians) and those who favor a strong federal government (Hamiltonians).

In truth, the Hamiltonians won out long ago. We hear plenty of Jeffersonian rear-guard rhetoric supporting the notion that states and individuals can be entirely self-sufficient and self-reliant in a world that has been globally interdependent for decades. But, in fact, the great accomplishments of our nation — abolishing slavery, winning World War II, developing a social safety net, going to the moon — have been national efforts that could never have been achieved by states or individuals. And our current challenges are more global than ever.

Here’s a second practical idea that is being reinforced by our battle against the coronavirus: There is no substitute for facts, data, transparency and focused administrative expertise in planning, logistics and execution.

These two practical ideas merge in the stunning contrast between the responses to the coronavirus crisis by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and by President Donald Trump.

Cuomo’s daily briefings on his state’s response to the coronavirus are focused scrupulously on facts, numbers and real information. They are shaped by the advice of experts, and they are informed by detailed reports of what has been accomplished and realistic estimates of what still needs to be done, as well as when. The grim realities of the situation are not obscured by false hopes or imagined good news.

Trump’s briefings, on the other hand, are disorganized, rambling exercises in blame-shifting, self-praise, misinformation and fantasy. He talks in terms of hope rather than facts, at a time when Americans need to confront blunt realities, no matter how grim. The economy will come roaring back by Easter? Most Americans already knew better.

Cuomo is dealing capably with the problem in a single state, but inherent in his plan is the notion that our response to the coronavirus must be national. Indeed, the lessons that are being learned in New York would have enormous value if they could be applied nationally.

Unfortunately, the Trump administration’s response has been flat-footed, reactive, unimaginative and ineffective; Americans are suffering as a result.

The coronavirus crisis will end, but its impact on American society will last for a very long time. Our politics will never be the same. We must move past the traditional big government/small government divide. If the coronavirus teaches us anything, it’s that our biggest challenges will be national and international. Problems such as pandemics and climate change can be solved only with strong, coordinated national action, not sketchy information and wishful thinking.

Both of our political parties should make a deeper commitment to the realistic use of facts, information and expertise to respond to crises. I’m not backing Andrew Cuomo for president, but his approach to the coronavirus crisis represents the kind of leadership we need.

This is a profoundly bipartisan issue. Both parties have a responsibility to give us a chance for real leadership in November. Everything has changed. It’s not too late for both parties — even the Republicans — to reconsider whom they are putting forward for president.

John M. Crisp, an op-ed columnist for Tribune News Service, lives in Georgetown, Texas, and can be reached at jcrispcolumns@gmail.com.

Copyright 2020 Tribune Content Agency.

(106) comments

Henry_Avery

The broke carnival barker needs delay his loan payments. He’s always been broke, and useless.

https://www.rawstory.com/2020/04/trump-org-asks-deutsche-bank-to-delay-loan-payments-as-coronavirus-shutters-their-properties/

awteam2000

The US Navy has fired the commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, Navy leaders announced Thursday afternoon.

Capt. Brett Crozier, the carrier's CO, wrote a letter pleading with the Navy to take action to evacuate the ship amid a serious coronavirus outbreak, and that letter leaked to the media.

Henry_Avery

But Gallagher was allowed to talk s*** about his fellow SEALS on Fox while still serving.

Jleftwich

Crap.

"China is bringing back some coronavirus restrictions amid fears of a second wave of infections as the country of 1.4 billion people attempts to return to normal life.

Jia, a county in the central province of Henan, has banned outward movement and ordered workers without special permits to stay at home after several new infections were found in the area. "

Source: https://bit.ly/2R4Ni4t

gabrielshorn2013

This is exactly what is predicted to happen in the models if the restrictions are lifted too soon when a vaccine is not available. "Flattening the curve" may slow the spread of the virus, but it makes the disease linger longer. The area under the curve (number of potentially infected people) does not change, it just takes longer for them to be infected, unless there is a safe and effective vaccine. Plan for this to be the case in the US too.

https://www.imperial.ac.uk/news/196234/covid19-imperial-researchers-model-likely-impact/

https://www.imperial.ac.uk/mrc-global-infectious-disease-analysis/covid-19/

Jleftwich

If you're able to support small business, try to do so. Because the Trump admin is about to botch the small business lending program.

"Banks are warning that a $350 billion small business lending program won't work as advertised when it launches Friday. They say the Trump administration set unrealistic expectations and has failed to give banks what they need to issue the loans. Banks are expecting millions of applications from small businesses on Friday. Some fear a disaster that could dwarf the failed kickoff of the Obamacare enrollment web site in 2013."

Source: https://politi.co/2wcQDHy

awteam2000

Please tell me that Trump didn’t just launch the US naval fleet to chase drug dealers in the pacific, while 200 thousand Americans are forecast to die over the next two weeks. Even Rikki wouldn’t be that inept. April fool ... he would.

Watch, The stock market tomorrow, how Trump measure himself, his score card. Nobody has confidence in Trump‘s judgement. We have more then 5,000 deaths in America and he’s talking about Iran?

Obadiah Plainsmen

Neither China or Iran are going to let a good crisis go to waste.

Obadiah Plainsmen

Now we are learning that the great scientist in China sent faulty test kits to Europe mainly Italy.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-01/faulty-virus-tests-cloud-china-s-european-outreach-over-covid-19

threecents

If you read the article, you would know we do not know if that is true.

Obadiah Plainsmen

Can you confirm anything from out of China that is "true"? What would you do if China said they have developed a vaccine for COVID19 and our FDA approves it would you get it?

gabrielshorn2013

Yes, only if it went through clinical trials and met the strict requirements for a drug product here in the US. If not, then no.

Obadiah Plainsmen

That may take 18-24 months, would you approve of President Trump cutting the "red tape" to get it to the population asap. This is a National Emergency . Or as Bill Gates has suggested in yesterdays wapo, shut down the country completely for 10 weeks, develop an vaccine asap with a digital ID.

gabrielshorn2013

It should at least go through a Phase I (general safety) clinical trial to show that it doesn't immediately make someone sick or worse. But that doesn't say anything about longer-term effects, whose studies don't happen until Phase III trials. So, the short answer is no, I wouldn't.

gabrielshorn2013

OP, the most promising therapy right now is convalescent plasma from those who have recovered from COVID-19. There is little regulatory barrier to do so, and it would be the same as a blood donation. It should be able to use that immediately, after the appropriate testing of the donor and plasma for the diseases ourlined in 21 CFR 610.40. If the antibodies are extracted from the plasma and concentrated through Cohn fractionation, it becomes a FDA regulated dosage form (IgG), subject to FDA review and approval before it can be distributed. FDA may give special dispensation and approval for use in an emergency. Maybe.

phydeaux994

“Can you confirm anything from out of China that is "true"?”....OP, can you confirm ANYTHING from out of DJ Trump that is “true”??? I’d say the odds are about the same.

threecents

Gabe's three posts above sound right to me.

rikkitikkitavvi

Why are you defending China zero?

threecents

Hi Rikki, It was more me attacking OP's reading comprehension than defending China. Just calling it like I see it.

Piedmontgardener

Oh, America will be completely different after this, more observant of technology, science and left with a humbleness at how interdependent we all are in times of crisis. The era of science denying leadership and outright lies to attempt to obscure scientific truths has ended.

The Grape of Wrath

It has? Perhaps you have not witnessed a presidential news conference lately.

Henry_Avery

Ha. We still have Governors in Mississippi, Georgia and Florida who want to deny solid science by intelligent researchers, but allow people to flock to church to worship some imaginary being in the sky.

awteam2000

Rather then waiting for 100 to 250 thousand plus to die, what if we did mass testing, across the nation, we might find that the far majority of people have already been exposed to the virus and have an immunity to it. Or at least know the future ‘hot spots’. That data might lead to getting the economy going again faster, rather then sitting around for months, and waiting for people just to die till ‘all’s clear’.

Obadiah Plainsmen

States are getting test kits, but apparently States/Cities are losing track of them. Who should be held accountable? The Mayor? She is a democrat, nope not her, must be a republican somewhere on the city council.

https://www.thenewstribune.com/news/local/article241664546.html

hayduke2

Really, did you even read the artlcle. Your tribalism immediately led you to a political assumption. Sad.

Obadiah Plainsmen

Not sad but reality, all politics is based on assumption. Pelosi assumption is that Trump is fiddling, while people die. You ok with that chief?

hayduke2

No, but the truth hurts. Early advice ignored, trivialized and statements that lead to false hope. That is fiddling! Sorry that you can't be objective.

Obadiah Plainsmen

"No, but the truth hurts"?? so you do agree with it, you are a tribalist afterall.. I said before that mistakes have been made, but not to the extent that Trump is happy and fiddling when people are dying Sorry you can't be objectionable. you are the deplorable this time.

threecents

OP, Trump didn't even realize we still have a mask shortage until a couple of days ago when he said we should wear scarves instead. It was like Marie Antoinette telling us to eat cake if we are out of bread.

Obadiah Plainsmen

Will cake satisfy your appetite until the bread is ready?

threecents

OP, Are you a Marie Antoinette fan, or are you agreeing with Trump that scarves can protect us from infection?

phydeaux994

The manufacturers of these PPE supplies are complaining that no one is telling them where to ship them. Distribution seems to be the bottleneck. FEMA is supposed to be in charge but they seem to be incapable of coordinating the shipments from dozens of suppliers to the people that need them around the Country. The supply chain is failing. That is the job of the Feds. Tell DJ Trump to ask Jeff Bezos how to do it. He”ll have the supplies sent to the right place in 2 days. Donald J Trump doesn’t have a clue about what’s happening in the Country or how to fix it!!! Turn it over to the Military, they are experts in distribution. They send supplies and personnel around the World seamlessly every day. They did it during Katrina, they can do it here. Get Trump the hell out of the way!!!

xJacky1

Nice try, the states have responsibilities to source their materials as well. Post an article where suppliers are wondering where to send them rather that stating something without back-up.

Obadiah Plainsmen

Oh phydeaux, without a citation to back up your claim it's only hearsay. But Trump is way ahead of you. But Bezo's is still mad at Trump for not getting a very lucrative pentagon contract( 10B$). So Bezo's might not help with the distribution just to make Trump look bad. Then who is the real villian?

https://techcrunch.com/2020/03/16/amazon-ceo-jeff-bezos-has-been-in-regular-contact-with-the-white-house-on-coronavirus-pandemic/

phydeaux994

One example...many more online, look it up......

https://time.com/5808500/small-manufacturers-coronavirus/

Obadiah Plainsmen

Oh,oh,,phydeaux, That article was published On Tuesday March 24. All of the material in the article was referencing dates the week prior. With a fast moving virus such as COVD19 two weeks is an eternity. I'll grant it there was confusion and yes as soon as China notified the WHO that the virus exsisted on 12/30/2019 , President Trump should have nationalize every manufacturer and small business in America and have them turn all thier production capabilities into making testing kits and PPE. Or even when the first case was identified in Wash State 01/20/20, but he didn't. Wit Wonder if the processs is going better now. Living in a free open society with a capitalism type economy is not the best antidote to stop the onset of a virus.

threecents

Phy[thumbup] This is exactly the sort of thing FEMA was setup to do - along with the Pandemic team that Obama set up, but Trump disbanded in 2018 as part of his smaller government/drain the swamp campaign.

threecents

XJ, As I said before, we have a mess with FEMA and all the states competing for the same resources. We obviously need federal leadership when there is a national emergency like this.

Obadiah Plainsmen

Ok boomer three,

We take no position on whether it was a mistake or not to eliminate the global health security post or restructure the NSC team. But it’s wrong for Democrats to cite Trump’s remarks about “some of the people we cut” as proof that he “lied” about not knowing what happened to the NSC team.

https://www.factcheck.org/2020/03/dems-misconstrue-trump-budget-remarks/

phydeaux994

OP....it is Times like this that separate the Winners from the Losers, the bold from the timid, the wheat from the chaff, the getters