The worst governor during this pandemic? Mike Parson of Missouri is getting closer, but no – The Madison Leader Gazette

For most of the 18 months since Americans started dying from COVID-19, some of my friends in Missouri, Texas, and Florida have been arguing over which of us has the worst governor in our time. country war.

Mike Parson from Missouri got off to a quick start, doing nothing at first, and as little as possible since: as of April 1, 2020, according to a state compilation of all actions taken by every state in the country, released by the University from Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, only Parson and three other governors – in Iowa, Nebraska, and Tennessee – had not issued a statewide stay-at-home order, neither a non-essential services shutdown order, nor a statewide school shutdown order. .

On April 6 last year, Parson finally issued an amended order, shutting down non-essential businesses, placing an occupancy limit on some businesses and ordering social distancing. But even then, he continued to insist that it should be “up to the individual what he wants to do” on the masks. And less than a month later, on May 4, Missouri was, as Parson said, open for business again.

In June, he criticized the media for politicizing the “mask deal” and, at odds with all public health guidelines, defended the right of all Americans “not to wear them if they did. don’t want to wear one “. Last July, a group of cattle ranchers applauded his fatal remark that “if you want to wear a dang mask, wear a mask”.

Later that month, he had to back down, which felt like nonchalance about whether the kids would get sick. “These children have to go back to school,” he said. “And if they get COVID-19, which they will receive – and they will when they go to school – they will not go to hospitals. “

But now that the children go to the hospital, and even die? Now that some children who doctors initially thought had mild cases are struggling with the physical, mental and neurological after-effects of the long-term COVID? Now that we know that the vaccinated can pass the super-contagious delta variant to the unvaccinated, including children? For Parson, nothing has changed.

He called the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new mask guidelines “disappointing and concerning.” And he continues to fight mask mandates instead of even trying to unite us in the battle we should be fighting together, against a deadly and ever-evolving virus.

In June, he signed a law banning “vaccine passports” and limiting the power of county health officials to protect us. Last month, he told Missourians they couldn’t trust the “propaganda” about COVID they were reading in mainstream media, including The Kansas City Star.

He criticized officials at the Missouri hospital for “trying to force people to get vaccinated or literally trying to scare them into getting vaccinated.” Yes, even as he himself was trying to “literally scare them” about “federal agents” he falsely suggested that they would show up and stick a needle in their arms.

Today, with full hospitals and frenzied medical professionals, he still refuses to be anything more than a negative role model, displaying Twit photo of himself inside and without mask, mostly addressed to unmasked voters. All in all, an impressive display of indifference to human life. If this disease mostly hurt unborn children instead of unvaccinated ones, maybe he would care?

Abbott, Noem, Reynolds and DeSantis downplay COVID danger

I have to admit, however, that Texas Governor Greg Abbott could be an even stronger competitor, shamelessly making migrants as scapegoats amid rising COVID cases in his state. Kristi Noem from South Dakota is also in attendance; she stopped promoting vaccination months ago and bragged about being the most serious Republican governor of all, ignoring the pandemic as she did. Or, as she put it, be “ready to make the tough decisions”, such as never ordering “just one business” to shut down.

Kim Reynolds of Iowa signed a law banning school mask warrants – in an event where she appeared alongside jubilant anti-mask activists holding up signs saying ‘Unmask our children’ and ‘Stop the abuse “.

For a minute, it appeared Florida’s Ron DeSantis had outdone all of the other contenders with his superior trolling and popular pro-COVID product. “How the hell am I going to drink a beer with a mask on?” asks the official DeSantis koozie, which his re-election campaign sells with his “Don’t Fauci My Florida” t-shirts.

But then, last week, out of nowhere, here’s Andrew Cuomo from New York, snatching the “worst of the worst” title from everyone else.

Governor Grabby, of course, not only failed New Yorkers by hiding the true number of COVID nursing home deaths, but by verbally accosting and sexually harassing aides and other women, both before and during the pandemic. The confinement made him lonely, he told one of his targets.

The details of his legitimate, pathetic, and possibly criminal behavior reminds me of both Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, and the fact that he hasn’t learned anything from their wrongdoing is truly depressing. In fact, he follows their old playbook, denies the accusations, and smears the accusers.

One of the many occasional “because I can” violations documented in the Attorney General’s 165-page report describes the time Cuomo ran his finger over the company name on the shirt of a stunned stranger that he met in a rope. He pressed down on each letter as he read it, then bent down, told the woman he was going to pretend to remove a spider from her shirt, and did so. (I’ve been using this one since seventh grade, haven’t I?)

After Cuomo is removed from office, who will claim the disgrace of the nation’s worst? Will the COVID body count ever get high enough to convince one of the top contenders to stop bending to their gravely mistaken base?

And will they decide at some point to at least try to get their constituents out of our pandemic of disinformation? If not, the story won’t say that you had courage, or made the cattle ranchers laugh a lot, or sold a lot of t-shirts, but left your own people die. At that point, even abusive Andrew Cuomo will look better in comparison.



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Joseph D. Whitman

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