To the editor:

Governor Cuomo’s daily COVID-19 press briefing starts with the sad and sobering truth about the loss of life in New York State. He expresses the grief and heartbreak publicly that we are all feeling privately. Then, on a daily basis, he reveals how we will move forward, with a plan of action addressing critical and immediate health needs, and future plans for antibody tests to allow us to get back to work to restore our economic well-being. He praises the individual and collective efforts of all New Yorkers, the heroism of our first responders, hospital staff, bus drivers, train conductors, and workers keeping our essential businesses open providing food and medicine. He stresses that “we” are saving lives because “we” are acting responsibly. He implores us to stay home - stop the spread - save lives. His grace under fire, nationally recognized leadership, and clear conviction to put our health and humanity first helps us deal with our fear and anxiety.

Contrast that with the daily Pandemic White House press briefing at which the President of the United States of America quickly goes off the rails, full of grievances, spending the majority of his time blustering, blathering and blaming others for his utter failure to lead in this crisis. He continues to polarize our country, and politicize the pandemic. Donald Trump seems to lack the understanding of cause and effect that babies develop as young as 3 months old. His failure to tell us the truth, create a plan, or accept responsibility for his administration’s unpreparedness of the United States to safeguard our health and safety during a pandemic has caused chaos, loss of life, and the loss of confidence in his leadership.

Throughout the crisis, the top priority of the President, his hollowed out neophyte administration and his allies has been the protection of Donald Trump’s ego, his insatiable need for flattery. He is an adulation addict. He withers under any criticism by abusing, insulting and name calling anyone who doesn’t praise him. His press briefing, filled with denial and self-congratulation, diverge so far from reality that even his supporters are suggesting that he not appear everyday because it is hurting his re-election chances. David Frum, conservative political commentator, speech writer for President George W. Bush, author of Restoring American Democracy (2020), and current staff writer at the Atlantic recently wrote “Trump has mouthed the slogan ‘America first’ but he has never acted on it. It has always been ‘Trump first’ His business first, His excuses first. His pathetic vanity first.” All of his messages are “I” alone will know how to fix this. This American catastrophe will forever be on his hands and on his head. After 3 and half years of this Trump presidency we have seen enough.

Donald Trump should not be re-elected. All voters need to ask themselves - Am I better off today than I was 4 years ago? The future of our Democracy is in our hands. We are in control of our own destiny. Our next President must be a leader who accepts that the federal government is there to protect us through whatever future crisis we face as a country. In November, cast your vote as if your life depends on it-because it truly does.

Stephanie Sussman

Claverack

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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