Think back to September of 2005 when thousands of New Orleans were trapped in football stadiums or atop their flooded homes without food, safe water, or the slightest creature comforts. President Bush flew over in Air Force One and then disappeared over the horizon leaving the desperate in the hands of Brownie and FEMA.
Finally, a ruff and rugged old US Army general named Russell E. Honorè rolled into town and took charge. Where Brownie and others were doing it by the numbers and not getting it done, Honore′ said, screw the numbers, get in that helicopter and fly those pallets of water to the roof of that convention center. Take those amphibious vehicles and haul food to the people trapped on that freeway overpass. Honore′ was exactly the person needed for Katrina and someone like him is what’s needed in this Covid-19.
Honorè and Katrina have come to mind several times as the Covid-19 epidemic has spread and the Trump administration has failed to deliver on most of everything needed and everything promised. I was sitting on the sofa watching Brian Williams Friday night and thinking about the need for a Russell Honorè and suddenly the General’s face appeared on my TV. Amazing he was William’s next guess and the topic was the logistics of meeting the medical needs of the nation’s health care system. immediately he began discussing the problems, the shortages, and providing potential answers.
Regarding the certain coming shortage of doctors and nurses, he suggested, to hell with the rules, graduate early every doctor and nurse who will graduate this coming may and turn them loose in the war against the virus.
I don’t know what other ideas Honorè has or whether they would all work. What I think I know, however, is we need someone like him who knows how to organize and then seize control of what he organized and get it moving. Such is just the opposite of what we have with Donald Trump. Honorè wants what is best for the nation and the world. Trump wants what is best for himself. Throughout this crisis, his first response has been self-serving. Only after strong pushback has he relented and that often hasn’t lasted.