Hello, Team Colorado. As President Donald Trump accurately stated, “We’re all in this together.”
Thank you sir, but I’m taking my lead from Jared Polis. Colorado’s governor has been calm, credible and introspective during this coronavirus catastrophe.
Immediately after Colorado experienced community spread, Polis acted decisively, declaring an emergency. Colorado created the first public drive-through COVID-19 testing station in the nation. Trump and Pence want to follow. Great! Better late than never.
The COVID-19 tsunami is imminent and must be mitigated. These next weeks are critical. Before hearing it from D.C., I learned about flattening the curve from Colorado’s Capitol.
Polis sugarcoated nothing, but said we’ll get through this. With Polis leading, I expect Colorado will.
Pressing politicians to get it right is Colorado’s longtime leader in local television, 9News. Polis told 9News’ fearless Marshall Zelinger on March 13 that Colorado must act now.
“We hope to avoid the Italy approach by taking these steps earlier in the curve than Italy did. Significantly earlier. We feel that on many of these, we’re acting about two weeks earlier — if Italy had taken the steps that we took, we think they could have avoided that spike. “
Zelinger then confronted the governor about closing ski resorts. After first deeming the proposition ridiculous, Polis thought it through and the next day, shut down skiing in Colorado.
That ski slope shutdown news was broken to me and many thousands more by The Colorado Sun, which is an emerging leader in Colorado COVID-19 coverage. Here’s Polis’ statement in the Sun’s Saturday night ski stopping story:
“It is with a profound sense of pain and grim responsibility that I take the agonizing action that this moment demands. I take solace in knowing that while we will be temporarily closed for business, we will be saving the lives of hundreds, perhaps thousands of Coloradans in the days and weeks ahead.”
Perhaps thousands! It’s going to take us all working (from home) together to save these Colorado lives. We must socially distance. This is especially so for elders and those with complicating health conditions. Coronavirus is ubiquitous now, including at a Colorado King Soopers and the DMV. Even playing bridge is perilous.
Too many at-risk people infected too soon could crash our health care system. Shortages of hospital beds and ventilators would compound this catastrophe. We’ve never needed smart leadership more.
I’ve stopped looking to our president for leadership. The China travel ban was wise, but Trump’s 2018 dismantling of his National Security Council Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense was stupid. So was his failure to secure nearly enough testing kits. Trump told the world two weeks ago that America’s 15 coronavirus victims would diminish in a couple days to zero. How could our president be so wrong?
Next time any chief executive wants a human backdrop, please do it with proper social distancing.
Trump bizarrely told us Sunday evening how “very happy” he is (for the Fed rate drop he demanded) and that we have “tremendous control” of coronavirus. Trump told us to relax, but that’s not easy watching 15 people tightly clustered behind him. At least he didn’t shake hands as he did on Friday. Leaders should model proper behavior.
We’re facing the equivalent of World War II and need to get on a war footing. Instead of confronting marauding Nazi Germany, we’re confronting marauding unseen germs coming to kill us. We must defeat this deadly enemy. Great governance is essential.
America will soon elect a president, and all our candidates are elderly. If most Americans will eventually be COVID-19 infected, what are these septuagenarians’ odds of survival? Young, smart politicians like Jared Polis, age 44, are the right leaders now.
Hindsight is 20-20. Let’s look to 2021 where Lord and science willing, an effective vaccine will emerge. In the meantime, let’s make it a point to stay away from each other. So we can stay together. Let’s do this, Colorado!
Craig Silverman is a former Denver chief deputy DA who also has worked in the media for decades. Craig is columnist at large for The Colorado Sun. He practices law at the Denver law firm of Springer & Steinberg, P.C.
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