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Getting into the weeds
Dee McLelland new

Now we are getting into “the weeds.”

Our lives have been disrupted recently with the progress of COVID-19 across the country. I was talking with a friend recently and he asked me what I thought about the changes in our daily lives. Both of us have college aged young adults and it certainly has changed their schedules, but he was asking more particularly about what I saw down the road.

Here’s why I say we are about to get into “the weeds.”

Now we have politicians getting involved in this mess. We have Democrats and Republicans placing their petty fights right in the middle of a health emergency. We have both parties fighting over which side gets what and instead of placing the health and well-being of our country’s citizens in the fore front, they would rather start playing their little game of ping pong.

On Sunday, the Democrats voted down the stimulus package presented by the Republicans to offset the losses most hard working citizens need to keep their families and our economy going. Of course the Dems say they are concerned about the fact there will be little oversight and too much discretion given to the Secretary of the Treasury during the process to disperse funds. That I completely understand. Not only should there be a transparent plan as to where the funds are going, but there should also be complete accountability. This can’t be something where corporations are getting their pockets lined or companies can claim hardship when there actually is none at all.

I believe our focus should be on the health care industry, its workers and our citizens, period. While I have always maintained health care should never have become a “for profit” enterprise, it also pains me to believe we are this underprepared with testing and other services needed during this time. 

I think this pandemic is going to reveal some pretty ugly scars when it comes to how our country is run. Not just the past four years as many would want you to believe, but for many, many years prior to this. Our government on the federal levels has been more and more non-responsive to average citizens. I’m not talking about press statements saying how “great everything is,” or press statements saying it’s the “other sides fault.” I’m talking about the sections of New Orleans that still haven’t been rebuilt, the panhandle of Florida from Hurricane Michael, or even Puerto Rico and its citizens. Sure, money has been thrown at those situations, but to be honest, it’s our money.

Look for leadership from your local and county governments right now. I believe in my heart you will find people who are actually concerned about your well-being and their decisions will be based on your needs, not what they think will line their pockets and some of their corporate shills.

I hate to sound down on our federal leaders, no, wait, I don’t hate it. I am down on them. If they don’t respond to this crisis in a unified manner, then I have little faith in them in the coming years, no matter what party is leading the way and no matter what the next crisis will be.

Dee McLelland is the Publisher of the Coastal Courier and the Bryan County News.

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