Opinion | Glenn Poshard: It's not the time for hoaxes
editor's pick
Guest View

Opinion | Glenn Poshard: It's not the time for hoaxes

  • 2

A few days ago, I turned on the national news and watched a demonstration at the Michigan State Capitol which included a couple hundred people, some of whom were carrying guns and others carrying flags with swastikas on them while young children were screaming into the faces of policemen stationed there for their safety.

The following segment of local news featured a similar demonstration led by State Rep. Darren Bailey at our capitol in Springfield. The reporter interviewed a lady who proclaimed that the coronavirus was a hoax and the governor should reopen the state immediately. The reporter indicated that he had interviewed several other people and asked if they were concerned that they may be spreading the virus by refusing to practice social distancing and wearing a face mask. Their response was, “We don’t care.”

My heart sank in that moment.

Despite the fact that both states were trying to comply with President Trump's Coronavirus Task force recommendations for reopening, which stipulated that there must be a downward trajectory of documented cases reported within a 14-day period and a robust testing program in place during Phase 1, no state in the country had met the requirement at that time.

Despite the fact that the plan was put together by two of the world’s best experts on infectious disease control in Drs. Fauci and Birx, Rep. Bailey encouraged people to go against the health experts' plans to save lives by demanding the governor reopen the state before the state could meet the plans requirements.

As a former congressman, co-chair of the Rural Health Care Caucus in the House of Representatives, a member of the Illinois Hospital Association Board of Trustees, and chairman of the Illinois Health Facilities Planning board, I have pretty good knowledge of rural health care and my congressional district included every hospital in Rep. Bailey’s district. They are good, small rural hospitals but with few, if any, ICU beds and certainly not capable of handling a massive coronavirus and flu epidemic that Dr. Fauci and other scientists have predicted could very well happen this fall and winter. People will die unnecessarily if this happens.

The ICU beds in Mount Vernon and Evansville will be full and every ventilator in use. Where will the people of southeastern Illinois go to receive life-saving care? How many long months will it take for jobs to return if this pandemic comes back with double the force?

We all want the economy to recover and restore the jobs of our people. It will if we take a measured and thoughtful approach to this and prevent our health care system from being overwhelmed before the fall gets here with the potential of a second wave.

In my judgement, both the president's Coronavirus Task Force plan is solid and so is Gov. Pritzker’s. This is not a time for encouraging people to adopt the attitude that this pandemic is a hoax and we don’t have to care about our neighbors!

Glenn Poshard is a former Illinois State Senator, U.S. Congressman, gubernatorial candidate, and is a former President of the Southern Illinois University system.

Concerned about COVID-19?

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

In July 2001, a 28-year-old woman named Lori Klausutis fell and hit her head on a desk at work in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. She was found dead the next morning. The medical examiner concluded that there was no foul play, and it later turned out that Klausutis had an undiagnosed heart condition. There would be no reason today to publicly discuss this tragic accident, but for the fact that ...

It's clear from Jared Kushner's sticky little fingerprints and crayon scratchings all over the country's domestic and foreign policy that he's President Donald Trump's right-hand man. Why else would Trump put him in charge of Middle East peace, criminal justice reform and the 2020 campaign all at the same time? Kushner follows in a long line of such advisers tracing back to Alexander Hamilton ...

If there is a silver lining to the flawed U.S. response to the coronavirus pandemic, it is this: The relatively high number of new cases being diagnosed daily - upward of 20,000 - will make it easier to test new vaccines. To determine whether a vaccine prevents disease, the study's subjects need to be exposed to the pathogen as it circulates in the population. Reopening the economy will likely ...

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

News Alerts

Breaking News