Budowsky: President Trump, meet with all former living presidents

Budowsky: President Trump, meet with all former living presidents
© Getty Images

Dear President TrumpDonald John TrumpIllinois governor says state has gotten 10 percent of medical equipments it's requested Biden leads Trump by 6 points in national poll Tesla offers ventilators free of cost to hospitals, Musk says MORE:

While I do not wish you well in the presidential campaign of 2020, I damn well wish you well as our only president during an epochal crisis that poses grave and extreme dangers to our lives, our economy, our workers and every man and woman everywhere on earth.

We should carefully watch other nations to determine from their experience how fast the virus will spread here and how quickly our lives can return to normal. It is possible the danger recedes in a matter of weeks and months. It is possible it does not, and we face a global plague that kills millions of people, and a stock market crash and global depression similar to events that began in 1929.

ADVERTISEMENT

All of us hope. None of us knows. Anyone who claims otherwise is delusional. Their claims should be ignored.

Mr. President, I would urge you to convene a summit meeting of every living former president to solicit their advice and support. Former presidents Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaBiden's pick for vice president doesn't matter much Obama urges voters to 'demand better' after Trump rolls back fuel standards Trump administration rolls back Obama-era fuel efficiency standards MORE, George W. Bush, Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonClintons send pizza to NY hospital staff treating coronavirus Budowsky: President Trump, meet with all former living presidents Why Klobuchar should be Biden's vice presidential pick MORE and Jimmy CarterJimmy CarterBiden's pick for vice president doesn't matter much Biden could be picking the next president: VP choice more important than ever Wise words revisited: 'There is simply no way to avoid sacrifice' MORE all have valuable insights to offer about what they did right during crises they faced, and how you and America could benefit from that, and what they did wrong, what they learned from their mistakes, and how you and America would benefit by not repeating them.

I would suggest that you empower first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpUK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tests positive for coronavirus Trump defends million in Kennedy Center funding in coronavirus stimulus Budowsky: President Trump, meet with all former living presidents MORE to convene a first ladies summit with Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaLizzo donates lunch to hospital workers battling coronavirus Biden could be picking the next president: VP choice more important than ever Lobbying world MORE, Laura Bush and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden's pick for vice president doesn't matter much GOP challenger seizes on outrage against Massie Juan Williams: Mueller, one year on MORE. These are all wonderful women with a great deal to contribute to uniting and mobilizing our people and dramatizing the fact that every man and woman in our nation, literally without exception, can take actions in their daily lives that make them patriot soldiers in the war to defeat the pandemic plague.

These presidential and first lady summits would be hugely successful. Nothing would be more powerful and inspiring to Americans than these former presidents and first ladies standing beside you, in a united front, with a dramatic call to action, uplifting confidence that we shall overcome the current crisis, united and together.

Mr. President, when you moved quickly to ban travel from China when the danger of global pandemic became clear, you were brilliantly right. But when you spent January and February claiming the danger was being overstated and the coronavirus was just like the regular flu, you were catastrophically wrong and wasted two precious months while the gathering storm of pandemic was silently poisoning our land.

ADVERTISEMENT

When you said this month that we are at war with a catastrophic disease and you a wartime president, you were absolutely right. Every American can join this battle personally and effectively by washing their hands regularly, NEVER touching with their bare hands potentially contaminated door knobs, elevator buttons or danger zones on buses and trains that other contaminated hands have touched, or  by giving money they can afford to people in need and causes that support them. They are patriotic heroes alongside CEOs and small businesspeople who mass-produce desperately needed hospital supplies and hand sanitizers.

When I read the story by Maggie HabermanMaggie Lindsy HabermanThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Task force pushed Trump to extend coronavirus guidelines New York Times defends reporter after Trump swipe: Her 'reporting has stood the test of time' Sacrificing American lives on the altar of the Dow Jones MORE of The New York Times about how you are losing patience with Dr. Anthony Fauci, who may be the world’s greatest living expert on how to defeat the plague of pandemic, I cringed with horror. I do not know who was the major source of that story, but I suspect YOU do, which is alarming.

Mr. President, if you embrace the advice of Dr. Fauci and the strong team of medical experts you have assembled, and follow their advice carefully and fully, you and we will be eternally grateful you did.

If you take the opposite course, which is the implication of the Haberman story and other reports, and move far too fast to end the social distancing and other measures you properly took that have helped the nation respond to the crisis, it would be a decision of epically catastrophic proportion.

The result will be that the scourge that plagues our people will become much worse, last much longer and create countless more preventable illnesses and deaths. No current cure is worse than this deadly disease. If you make this catastrophic mistake, which I believe and pray you will not, you will go down in history alongside the blunders of President Herbert Hoover before the 1929 market crash and the Great Depression. You do not want this. Neither do I. Nor does any American.

Organize and lead a massive airlift of medical supplies to hospitals — similar in scope and magnitude to the Berlin airlift in the 1940s — as physicians, governors and mayors from both parties are pleading with you to do.

Hear the advice and seek the support of all living former presidents and first ladies, and the nation’s leading medical experts, and America will be a better and far safer place.

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.