Budowsky: Elect Biden, promote Fauci, defeat COVID
President Trump’s political war against Anthony Fauci, including his operatives dishing opposition research-style attacks against one of America’s most respected and admired medical authorities, is one of the most destructive and self-destructive acts in presidential history.
Trump’s retweeting the ignorant words of a former game show host, who accused physicians, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Democrats of lying to create a false crisis about the COVID-19 virus, left the president behaving like a failed leader combining tragedy with farce.
If the COVID-19 virus could vote, the virus would endorse the reelection of Donald Trump, who takes repeated actions that help the virus infect and kill more Americans, and who works to destroy the actions that would defeat the virus.
This column offers two dire warnings.
First, there is an immediate danger of COVID-19 infecting and killing more Americans in the coming weeks and months, and a very real danger of a catastrophic wave of infections and death, similar to the epic disaster in 1918, that could be one of the most devastating events in American history and one of the most catastrophic failures in presidential history.
My second warning is to Republicans in the Senate and House. At this moment, the president’s behavior has so offended and alarmed so many Americans that there is, today, a strong chance of a blue wave election that would bring Democrats to power in the presidency, Senate and House.
Make no mistake, Texas could go blue in 2020, along with Florida, because the Republican governors of those states doubled down on the same blunders Trump has made.
Do Senate Republicans want to lose control of the Senate because they are political prisoners of a president who a large number of them privately despise and privately believe his COVID-19 failures are deadly dangerous for their constituents and our country?
By dramatic contrast to Trump, former Vice President Joe Biden is a man of decency, good will and experience who believes in facts, believes in truth, believes in science, and believes that America should unite like a mighty power to defeat the virus.
By dramatic contrast to Trump, Fauci is a fervent patriot who strongly believes that every American can play a vital role as citizen patriots by taking personal action that would defeat COVID-19 by wearing masks and maintaining a social distance, while our government should go all-out to provide far more testing and contact tracing for those who are infected.
Biden and Fauci understand that the only way to keep our economy open and stronger is to defeat, not ignore, COVID-19.
Biden and Fauci understand the vital importance of masks. Trump holds masks in contempt. His contempt for wearing masks has inspired many of his supporters not only to refuse wearing masks, but to insult and berate employees of restaurants and stores who politely ask customers to don masks.
Biden and Fauci understand the vital importance of testing, and understand the utter insanity of suggesting that testing creates more illness, when testing is the way to provide earlier and better treatment of those who are infected and a stronger defense against innocent infected neighbors without symptoms from spreading the virus to others.
Biden and Fauci understand the power of a united America, unlike Trump, who spends every day dividing Americans against each other.
Biden and Fauci understand the educating power of leadership setting clear goals and informing the public about what they can do to achieve those goals, by contrast to Trump, who at best needs to be educated himself, and at worst encourages and endangers even his own supporters by giving them false information and holding events in virus-ridden communities that endanger their safety and lives.
If Biden were president today, he would honor, respect and promote Fauci and other medical experts and leaders. Our country would be stronger. Our people would be safer. Our future would be infinitely brighter.
Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was chief deputy majority whip of the House of Representatives. He holds an LLM in international financial law from the London School of Economics.