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There’s Light At The End Of The Coronavirus Tunnel

Growing up, we had a running joke in my family. When someone did something, whether a chore or a good deed, whether large or small, one of us might tease them and say that they did it “For the credit.” I cannot recall how that began, but it became one of those silly things we said, an inside joke that becomes part of the fabric of family.

Nowadays, taking credit for things is becoming increasingly important in the political arena. This is particularly true with respect to COVID 19 and the pandemic. When the crisis began, no one was quite sure what to do, but it seemed everyone had an opinion. Given the unique circumstances of the epidemic, it is not fair to be overly critical of those who were advising us as we worked our way through those early weeks and months—after all, we were facing a strange virus that could result in death. But some perspective is reasonable.

We were encouraged to trust Dr. Fauci. As you may recall, he began by advising us not to wear masks, since masks would only be effective for people in the healthcare community. As we know, he reversed that position. Now he is continuing to wear a mask despite having received both vaccine shots. Really?

We were instructed to practice 6 feet of separation, which soon became a battle cry called “Social Distancing.” Later we learned that the science behind this 6 feet rule was based on a study done more than 100 years ago regarding the airborne transmission of tuberculosis. Now we are told 3 feet is more than enough. Would have been nice if someone checked a bit earlier.

Then there was the disaster of school closures, apparently based on a widespread fear that the disease would be conveyed to teachers by young children, who were potential carriers. How did that work out for everyone? How about all the parochial and private schools that have been open with virtually no problem?

The restaurant business was absolutely decimated by government mandates that shut them down because of the dangers of indoor dining. When it turned out you only had something like a 1.4% chance of contracting the virus by eating in a restaurant, as opposed to the much higher percentages from household gatherings, did anyone apologize to all the people who lost their jobs and businesses?

In the midst of what we came to call the “Lockdown”, mistakes were certainly made, fingers were pointed and blame was passed around like appetizers at a cocktail party. But one thing should never be forgotten about what happened when the stakes were highest—President Donald Trump demanded that the pharmaceutical companies pull together and find a vaccine for the disease as soon as possible. Not only that, he promised to work with them in reducing the bureaucratic red tape while accelerating the testing protocols so that the vaccines could be delivered to us by the end of 2020. And guess what… with President Trump and his administration supporting Operation Warp Speed, they got it done in something like one-quarter of the time it would normally have taken.

Yet despite those efforts, polls indicate that roughly half the country still dislikes Donald J. Trump. Those numbers tend to move up and down, but it seems as many as one-third of voters actually loathe him. It is obvious why some extreme liberals find him a difficult man to like, but perhaps they should get past the personality clashes and look at his accomplishments. As for me, I should reveal that I have been in his company several times, and on a personal level he is an engaging, interested, intelligent individual. He is also someone who gets things done (remember the Wollman Skating Rink in Central Park, when no one could get it open so Trump did it, and at his own expense? Or the city golf course near the Throggs Neck Bridge?). I realize none of that will mean a thing to people who insist on hating him, especially when the mainstream media continues the negative reporting about him they began more than five years ago. But some things need to be said.

My point here is simple. Now that there is light at the end of this pandemic tunnel, if you are being vaccinated, or have been vaccinated, you may well owe your life to Donald Trump. The refusal by Biden and his administration to acknowledge what Trump accomplished is nothing less than despicable. We can only hope that history will ultimately tell the true story.

Meanwhile, in my family—which is populated by both liberals and conservatives—no one is saying, “Trump did it for the credit.” He did it because—with all his faults—he is truly a great American.

Jeffrey Stephens

Jeffrey S. Stephens, is a political analyst, columnist, and author of the new book The Handler