President Trump calls on us to follow traditions and protect fellow citizens
Our way of life in this country has survived wars, economic depressions, and yes, worldwide pandemics. In colonial times, Americans overcame smallpox and yellow fever. In the 19th century, there were outbreaks of cholera and scarlet fever. In the 20th century, there was the Spanish flu, polio, measles, and human immunodeficiency virus, which all caused terrible suffering but failed to break the spirit of Americans.
As President Trump made clear during his national emergency declaration over the coronavirus, Americans in the 21st century are facing yet another challenge. Like our predecessors in this country, we need to confront this new challenge without allowing it to destroy our prosperity.
It will take a collective and unified effort on the part of all Americans. We need to be vigilant in our hygiene, overzealous in our quarantining, and understanding of the need of our fellow citizens to distance themselves from us. If we all pitch in and do our part, as Americans have done when faced with other great challenges in the past, then there is no reason to believe that the coronavirus cannot be kept under control.
The national emergency declaration will free up more than $40 billion to ensure we have the resources to manage. If, heaven forbid, you or a loved one required hospitalization because of the coronavirus, then you would expect to be admitted, no questions asked, as the national emergency declaration provides the resources to make that a reality.
From the moment the coronavirus emerged in China, President Trump has taken it seriously. At a time when some believed that such a far away crisis posed only a minimal risk to the United States, President Trump restricted travel from China out of an abundance of caution. The fact that our death toll is orders of magnitude lower than it is in some countries that refused to take such steps shows that caution was not misplaced. His decision to block travel from Europe, which the World Health Organization is calling the new epicenter of the pandemic, was equally prudent.
The national emergency declaration is neither a surrender to panic nor a concession of defeat. This is a forceful decision that Americans and their government must work together to save lives and ensure we emerge this summer as a strong and prosperous country. If we heed its guidelines and make the modest sacrifices recommended by our medical professionals, some might even wonder why it was necessary a few months from now. As the experience of our allies in Italy has taught us, however, if we fail to take this coronavirus seriously, then we run the risk that in a few months the national emergency declaration will not be enough.
The United States has the best doctors and the most advanced medical technology in the world. We also have the most practiced and dedicated military, police officers, and first responders. With the national emergency declaration, these world class experts will have the resources they need to help us face down this latest global threat from abroad.
As President Trump has told us, this is not the time for calling for division or assigning blame. It is our moment to give attention to the needs of our fellow citizens and step up to minimize the danger to our families, friends, and neighbors. As Vice President Pence reminded us from his experience as a governor, each of us need to be responsible in our own states and respond to the specific situations in our communities.
This is a temporary moment of uncertainty and, like many other critical moments in our history, we have faced such uncertainty head on with courage. We have always come through our challenges with resilience and confidence. Under the leadership of President Trump, I am certain that we will also face this new challenge with the kind of strength and unity that makes us Americans. We can and will prevail.
Jenna Ellis is a constitutional law attorney and the senior legal adviser with the 2020 campaign of Donald Trump. She is the author of “The Legal Basis for a Moral Constitution.” You can find her updates online @JennaEllisEsq.
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