I am told that the producers of Corona beer are scrambling to avoid any association with the virus by the same name. Marketing can go both ways and this time there are people that for some reason are connecting the beer brand with the illness.
Corona (beer) has been one of the favorites in this country, Mexico, where it is produced and world-wide. I personally prefer Modelo made by the same company with the same name.
The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) started in China and has found its way to at least 90 locations around the world including the United States. Like most illnesses of this kind, early detection is important in order to identify its location, severity and to immediately begin to develop a vaccine that can protect the population.
This involves a lot of laboratory work and test kits that can diagnose the disease in people and trigger treatment. This, in turn, requires money and effective political leadership designed to facilitate the work of our medical experts.
Unfortunately, the American government failed on both counts. The Trump administration had a budget request for key agencies on the frontline of this medical emergency, like the Center of Disease Control (CDC) and the National Institute of Health (NIH), that significantly reduced their support.
On the political leadership side, since finding out the facts of this emergency, it took over 3 months to come to grips with the problem. Our government is still struggling to provide an adequate number of diagnostic kits to respond to a growing medical crisis and more importantly, provide effective information and guidance to the public.
Normally, from events as large as 9/11 to catastrophic hurricanes to mass killings in this country by terrorists, there is an initial important response by political leaders like the President, governors and other politicians that sets a tone to assure the community that help is on the way. The political leadership then gets out of the way to allow for experts do their work and solve the problem.
This is not the case with this President. His lies that according to the Washington Post reached 16,241 as of January 20th and now include his response to the Coronavirus epidemic, are contributing to a crisis in confidence on the part of the American people.
President Trump’s statements have gone from saying that there is nothing to worry about to everything is under control to it is President Obama’s fault. The only consistency in his utterances reflect his desire not to take the blame for a lack of effective leadership.
He appears determined to keep the case count down and rebuilding the numbers in the stock market using untruths. He has insulted and demonized the Governor of the State of Washington that has been the most affected by the virus by discounting the death of 18 of its citizens and the 136 confirm cases.
The lack of transparency and accurate information provided by the administration is causing uncertainty to the point that people are substituting their somewhat uninformed judgment. For example, we are finding folks buying masks they do not need, canceling trips and attendance at church and family gatherings when they do not have to.
Coronavirus is not a military secret to be hidden. We should know as much as we can in order to make the best decisions as a community.
This is a crisis where honesty and transparency have been sacrificed. Nevertheless, it is best to continue to wash our hands.