Picture this: An outside attack killed every person in Montour, Northumberland, Snyder and Union counties. That population equals the United States’ deaths from COVID-19, approaching 200,000. President Trump prepared for this attack by eliminating our early warning system abroad and eliminating our pandemic preparedness office.

Once the pandemic was underway, President Trump responded by: Denying that the problem was occurring; lying about being briefed about it; contradicting scientific and medical advice on best strategies to limit the damage from COVID-19; failing to provide a national system for obtaining personal protective equipment; and failing to implement an effective national program of testing, contact tracing and treatment.

The result: The U.S.A. leads the world in the number of COVID-19 cases, more than 6 million. Meanwhile, job losses triggered by the pandemic are at historically high levels and millions of families are using food banks for the first time. President Trump did not cause COVID-19, but he led our response to it. When asked if he takes responsibility for that national response, he was very clear: “I don’t take responsibility at all.”

Elections are choices about leaders and the directions they chart for our country. Given President Trump’s record in responding to the first big crisis he faced, why would you hire him again? I wouldn’t. I’ll vote for Joe Biden.

Michael Piper-Smyer, 





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