Leadership Needed On COVID-19
Last updated 10/7/2020 at 4:38pm
America needs strong leadership to guide us through the most immediate national security threat of this decade, COVID-19. Joe Biden can provide that leadership. Donald Trump has proven he cannot. Protecting the American people is job number one for any president.
Joe Biden has never minced words about the threat posed by COVID-19. He has articulated a clear plan for addressing it (see http://www.joebiden.com/covid19-leadership/). He has shown leadership by personal example.
Throughout my career I had the opportunity to observe many outstanding leaders. They exhibited three common practices. First, they spoke directly and honestly to those they led about the nature of the challenge before them, particularly in time of crisis. They never sought to sugarcoat the situation for the sake of morale. Morale is best served when followers have confidence in the integrity of their leaders.
Second, those leaders articulated a clear sense of what needed to be done. They showed confidence in their sense of direction combined with a willingness to change direction if new facts called for change.
Third, they led by personal example. They demonstrated that they were prepared to make the same sacrifices that they asked of their followers and that they were taking the same measures that expert advice prescribed for others.
Donald Trump has failed on every count. He lied and continues to lie to us about the gravity of the situation. He repeatedly has shown that he has no plan for addressing it and has been a great source of misinformation. He has shown disdain for the science that is our only serious hope for overcoming the virus and has ridiculed those, including Vice President Biden, who have set an example by regularly wearing a face mask.
Now Trump is paying a very personal price. Both he and his wife have tested positive for the virus. Let us hope that they both fully recover and that the president emerges from the experience with a new understanding of the threat and his responsibilities. Past experience offers no reason to be optimistic about his ability to learn.