• Jerry L. Burrell

Dear Donald - 4/9/2020

Updated: Apr 27

Dear Donald,


Today is April 9, 2020 and the country you were elected to protect is suffering. Not all of us are suffering equally though. You are entombed in your safe space and where I live, there are under 200 confirmed cases. As you know, New York has over 20 times that in the number of deaths. Nobody really knows how many of us are infected, hell I could be infected right now and wouldn’t know it.


I don’t envy you.

Providing competent leadership is burdensome and you seem to be crumbling under the weight of it.


Since I have learned through your comments about governors that you like to be appreciated, allow me to thank you for the daily conversations I have with my Mom. Prior to all of this coronavirus craziness I would speak with my Mom on average 2-4 times/week. Thanks to your administration”s delayed response to the coronavirus pandemic, we began talking more frequently and now it’s daily. I hate that it took your flawed leadership to motivate me to converse with her so frequently but let’s just consider that a bit of good that comes out of this mess.


I am betting that you don’t have a personal meaningful relationship with anyone who has had to deal with severe illness related to this pandemic or even an upended life as a result of it. I'm talking about real people who live in the real world, not the ones you hang out with who are weathering the storm in relative luxury. I find myself thinking that because it feels like you are putting on a performance when you hold the daily press briefings. Keep in mind that I mostly read summaries of them and occasionally I will listen to audio clips or view video clips so this is my take based on the abbreviated versions I get exposed to.


I often wonder who you are speaking to when you are in the midst of your charade of leadership. Like, who do you have in mind when you give your take on what is happening around the country. Maybe it switches depending on what your topic is, maybe you don’t deliver with anyone particular in mind.


It comes across sometimes as if YOU are who you are speaking to. Not the now widowed woman who just lost her husband after days of him being on a ventilator and she was not there to say goodbye. Not the father of four who is now unemployed and has no idea how he’s going to feed his family, pay his rent, keep his phone on. Not the student who is now living at home with his parents wondering what his career prospects will be after spending the last 4 years busting his butt so that he could earn his degree next month. Maybe you should have them in mind next time you open your mouth. Speak to them with compassion and empathy and truth. More head coach, less cheerleader!


I know you have bigger fish to fry if you could just get past this bump in the road. Winning means so much to you but have you ever thought that what you consider winning may not be what that widow, father and student consider winning. They don’t care about you winning the ratings race. They don’t care about you winning your one-sided rants with reporters. They don’t care about your need to be appreciated. Just imagine what real hope might feel like for them and see if you can provide a sliver of it.


One more thing you might want to consider. What if you and Alex truly did take the threat of this pandemic seriously?


It’s not like you didn’t have advisors and others sharing their pandemic concerns. What if you hadn’t disbanded the US Pandemic Office & Response Team? What if on February 6, 2020, the day after you were acquitted by the Senate, instead of celebrating, you acknowledged your “victory” and spoke to the American people about preparing to defeat the coming coronavirus onslaught. Imagine how much difference that would have made for the widow, the father and the student.


And yes, I'm still angry!


In case you are not aware, please note that according to the Johns Hopkins COVID 19 Map* as of April 9 at 10:55pm EST, under your leadership, there are 16,684 Americans killed by Covid-19 and 465,750 CONFIRMED cases with 25,960 recovered.


US Centers For Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus Information


* (copyright 2020 Johns Hopkins University, all rights reserved)



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