The politicization of a pandemic

Both Democrats and Republicans are viewing the coronavirus as a political issue. Now is not the time for partisanship.

People+wearing+masks+when+outside+due+to+the+threat+that+the+coronavirus+poses.

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People wearing masks when outside due to the threat that the coronavirus poses.

Editor’s Note: The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this opinion article belong solely to the author and do not reflect the view of The Colt Chronicle Staff, Kinnelon High School, or its students and staff members.

 

From the controversial kneeling of NFL players during the national anthem to the appointment of a Supreme Court Justice, nearly everything in America is politicized. In many cases, it is completely understandable. However, one would think that a pandemic that has amassed tens of thousands of deaths ought to be an exception.

 

Both Democrats and Republicans have used COVID-19 to throw shots at the other side, whether it is Joe Biden using it to criticize the Trump administration or Trump attempting to cast himself in a better light with one-sided or outdated statistics. 

 

With that being said, when the government is attempting to release a coronavirus relief package containing exorbitant amounts of money, politicization is inevitable;  people are looking out for either what is in their best interest or in the interest of the country. However, when the biggest political figures resort to taking advantage of a worldwide disaster in an effort to advance their political careers or suppress criticism, I simply cannot respect them.

 

In the concluding moments of President Trump’s speech on March 11, he said, “We are all in this together. We must put politics aside, stop the partisanship, and unify together as one nation and one family.” A very respectable quote, had it not been so short-lived.

 

On March 12, Trump tweeted, “Sleepy Joe Biden was in charge of H1N1 Swine Flu epidemic which killed thousands of people. The response was one of the worst on record. Our response is one of the best, with fast action of border closings and a 78% Approval Rating, the highest on record. His was the lowest!” Needless to say, my disappointment was immeasurable, but I was not surprised considering the President’s propensity for mudslinging and hypocrisy. 

 

As stated previously, Democrats are not without fault either. Many left-winged media organizations have used the coronavirus as a way to criticize Trump and his competence as a president. Even well-known Democratic political figures such as former Vice President Joe Biden are guilty of the same politicization as President Trump is. In fact, Biden has released advertisements in which the Trump administration is slammed for their response to the coronavirus. 

 

American politics are arguably the most polarized in the world. Partisan gridlock has ensued from the divisiveness of issues in America, and it has been accepted despite the clear hindrance that it poses to legislative productivity. Now is not the time for this incompetence.

 

If we wish to surmount the obstacle that COVID-19 presents⏤to prevail through this unequivocally dark time⏤COVID 19  needs to be viewed as a non-political issue. It should not be used as a means of diminishing the opposition in an election. The country needs quick legislation, not a system mired in a stalemate that results in an overwhelming amount of unnecessary deaths. The American people need to be prioritized, not political agendas.