Coronavirus: A New Approach

coronavirus hero

(One in a series of suggested alternative communications for President Donald Trump.)

My fellow citizens and friends, we are facing a test of our national character right now, of our health and well-being, as well as the integrity of our great economy.

These times call for brave, new action, which I want to talk about today.

First, I must apologize to the American people. For too long, I have glossed over the threat that coronavirus presents to our citizens and our economy. I have not listened to good advice from Dr. Anthony Fauci and many others. I take responsibility for this and declare here and now that I’m putting my administration on a different footing — one that is vigorous, vigilant and forward-looking.

In that light, let me share the framework of our new approach to how we will prevail over this threat.

First, we will use what we have learned in the past, from different crises in different times. Foremost among these learnings is courageous honesty. For this example, I look to Churchill during the Battle of Britain. Mr. Churchill was brutally honest with the British people about the Nazi threat from the skies and seas. Because of his honesty, he was able to rally the British people to face the threat openly and cooperatively, with vigor and good humor. I have learned from that example and I pledge to you going forward that my administration will tell you nothing but the truth. When we do not have answers, we will tell you that as well. But we will always be transparent and truthful in our communication.

Second, I want to talk about here and now, and how we are shifting our response to this unprecedented challenge. Our response thus far has been insufficient. It has been piecemeal and hobbled by unnecessary bureaucracy. Frankly, it has suffered from a lack of urgency, for which I take responsibility.

That changes now.

This challenge is too big for just a government response. It requires a public-private partnership on a scale that we haven’t seen in nearly a century. Later today, we will be announcing a new coronavirus task force comprised of key government heads along with some of the smartest people in the private sector. Their charge will be to build a lightning-fast response system, from testing to cures, along with ingenious new ways to alleviate the financial fallout now being felt by millions of Americans.

None of us are as smart as all of us. This rapid-response, cross-disciplinary approach will integrate the best and the brightest to drive solutions at scale, quickly and vigorously, cutting through bureaucracy and fiefdoms like a sharp knife. I expect new solutions within the week.

Finally, we need to start looking to the future, now. This week, I am creating an Office of Pandemic Resiliency, OPR, which will start building a smart, flexible and globally integrated public-private infrastructure not only to better respond to pandemics in the future, but also how to prevent them to the best of our ability.

As we are witnessing right now, pandemics are one of the biggest unknown threats to global health and security. We must be better prepared, and know that even when threats like this are dormant or germinating, we must still invest in ways to respond quickly and effectively. On this, we cannot be sanguine. One of the first responsibilities of good government is securing the health and safety of its citizens. I pledge to you to build a 21st century system geared toward that outcome, whether the threats are viral or something else.

God bless you all, and God bless America.

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