Many of us are saddened, overwhelmed, and uncomfortable with the media’s explicit headlines and jarring statistics about COVID-19. In contrast, we are lucky to have social media influencers and a few political leaders who attempt to channel these harsh times into activism and awareness. Furthermore, it is always through difficult times where lessons are learned. I want to take this time to address what can be learned through this pandemic whether you belong to the red or to the blue. In this difficult time, we are learning the importance of great leadership that demonstrates accountability, honesty, and humanity.
We were aware of COVID-19 in January 2019 and there was a lack of responsiveness from Donald Trump and the members of his administration. We did not take the necessary precautions to act early and that is due to poor leadership. Now, there are over 18,000 deaths in the United States. A leader of a country should not believe that their country is much better than any country to the point where they believe they are invincible. Trump believed that COVID-19 could not become a problem for the United States. Leaders should always be aware of what is going on inside and outside of their space. Now, we are seeing the repercussions of our administration on the lives of America’s most vulnerable populations.
Dr. Fauci who is a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force acknowledged that COVID-19 is disproportionately taking African American lives. Now, this is not shocking to many marginalized communities who have experienced medical racism where their symptoms and their health conditions are not taken seriously compared to White Americans. I bring this up to discuss leadership. I am not giving Dr. Fauci a pat on the back for this information, but I do acknowledge his willingness, to be honest, and spark conversation among his peers about the social implications of COVID-19.
Moreover, if you have been witnessing the cringe-worthy press conferences, you will notice that Dr. Fauci corrects Trump’s false statements in order to protect him and also help us know the correct information. Instead of Trump actively listening to experts, he presents a narcissistic attitude where he seriously believes his words are gold. A leader should strive to be educated about the information they don’t know in order to create safe environments for their people. Furthermore, during another press conference when Trump was asked about testing being delayed, he responded with, “I don’t take responsibility at all.” I am not asking Trump to put himself on the cross like Jesus, no one is. But a leader needs to provide the people with information to help them feel assured and create changes that reflect that these items to help us get through COVID-19 are being put in place. Responding in this manner is truly unacceptable and deplorable.
There are several examples of Trump demonstrating questionable leadership skills, but I will end here. Lastly, the medical professionals, the professors, the mothers, the grocery store workers, and other people who are essential. Thank you. You know what needs to be done and some of you are risking your lives and some of you are putting in the time to help us get through these hard times. You are true leaders who don’t complain and just act. I think we all can learn a lot about leadership from you. You demonstrate accountability, honesty, and humanity and those are some of the things that will make this pass soon. Thank you again.