Coronavirus, Domestic Policy

How to Help Dr. Fauci

We are all praying that Dr. Anthony Fauci and other top officials successfully complete their current quarantine after potential exposure to the coronavirus. In the meantime, information and statistics remain crucial weapons in the fight against further outbreaks of COVID-19.   As America and other countries reopen after two months of lockdown, we still have much to learn about the disease.  Epidemiologists will still need to crunch data about rates and methods of infection to determine how the disease is transmitted until we develop and distribute a safe and effective vaccine.  Experts say this could take as long as two years. 

In the meantime, there is an easy way you can help. The Stanford University Medical School is conducting a survey by Internet of Americans to improve the tracking of the disease.  They are attempting to determine if potential hotspots can be identified simply by asking how people are feeling and whether they are experiencing any of coronavirus symptoms.  After completing a short initial survey on relevant demographic information and the symptoms, you will receive a daily e-mail asking simply if you are feeling better, the same or worse and whether you have any symptoms of COVID-19. It takes less than a minute to complete and the link is at the top of this post.  I have been participating for the last two weeks.  The more people who participate, the more reliable the study will be and the more we can target our efforts on the truly vulnerable. 

Please consider taking the short period of time to complete the survey and participate daily.  Working together, we can keep America healthy and open while we look for treatments and the holy grail of a vaccine. 


Coronavirus – Our Personal Challenge

The COVID-19 epidemic has forced all of us to change our everyday habits to meet the social distancing and other restrictions imposed to control the spread to our fellow Americans. These radical changes to our daily routine can take a toll not only on our livelihoods but also on our mental health. During these difficult times, we should resist blaming politicians in Washington or elsewhere for our problems and remember Theodore Roosevelt’s practical personal improvement advice above. In short, we need to ask ourselves the question posed in the graph below – Who do I choose to be during COVID -19?

This graph shows that this can be a process, much like the stages of grief after a loss, Washington may not be helping much, but hopefully most of us have passed through the fear stage, remembering that the word “fear” is short for “fantasized experiences appearing real”. I and many of you are probably still in the learning stage, where we are finding ways to maximize the use of our time. As TR succinctly put it above and as I mentioned in a previous post, each of us are called to make it to the final growth zone, so we can show how a free people can unite together to defeat the disease. Successfully doing so will improve not only our nation’s future, but our personal futures as well.

Coronavirus, Defense Policy, Foreign Policy

An Embarrassment to a Great Name

Acting secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly has just submitted his resignation as a result of the mess surrounding the dismissal of the Captain of the USS Theodore Roosevelt Brett Crozier. Modly’s departure is undoubtedly his most gracious and professional act during the whole affair. 

The DefenseOne website provides a helpful and well-documented timeline of this sorry episode in recent Navy history.  I agree that Capt. Crozier’s use of unclassified channels for the letter and its wide distribution strongly suggests an intent to publicize the COVID-19 crisis on the ship beyond the chain of command and potentially to the media. TR’s great-grandson Tweed penned an op-ed supporting Capt, Crozier.  However, he notes that, while a similar protest by his great-grandfather during the Spanish-American War accomplished  Roosevelt’s goal, it cost him a Medal of Honor in his lifetime.  Both were the kind of calculated risks that either earn you a commendation or a court-martial in the military.

Nevertheless, the timeline makes it clear that it was Modly, not Crozier, who first interfered with the chain of command by encouraging the Captain to contact him directly and thus by-passing his commanding admiral.  Modly then inflamed the situation further by flying unannounced to the ship and calling Capt. Crozier “stupid” and “naïve” to the crew of the Roosevelt and accusing him of undermining the chain of command.  In fact, those words are a more accurate description of his own actions, not those of the captain.  

TR probably almost came out of the grave in anger over this fiasco associated with his name and beloved navy.  The damage is done, but hopefully will be repaired soon by a leader with his honor, bravery and intelligence.