Notes from the Chair: Blocking, Tackling and COVID–19

by Kevin Henning, KCDP Chair
for the KCDP weekly newsletter, March 22, 2020

Animated "flatten the curve" graphic contrasts a man saying "Whatever, it's just like a cold or flu" while the healthcare system becomes overloaded, against a woman saying, "Don't panic but be careful" while taking precautions, and protecting the healthcare system from overload.
“Flatten the Curve” by Siouxsie Wiles and Toby Morris is licensed under CC-BY-SA 4.0
I cringe when I think about Grover Norquist’s irresponsible quote: “I’m not in favor of abolishing the government I just want to shrink it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.”  The conservative elements of our society have allowed the basic services and support systems of our government to atrophy. They decry the so-called deep state then give tax breaks to the rich. The stock market and business are now more important than protecting our citizens from disease, hunger and the basics that human beings require to thrive – the blocking and tackling of government.  During the transition, Obama staffers briefed the incoming Trump people on the risk of a viral pandemic. So what did Trump do, he abolished the White House pandemic prevention office that was put in place by Obama. This has had a direct impact on efforts to deal with our current crisis, the COVID–19 pandemic.

According to a 2019 New York Times article

the Trump government has been shrinking our science capacity since coming into office. In just three years, he has diminished the role of science in federal policy making while halting or disrupting research projects nationwide, marking a transformation of the federal government whose effects, experts say, could reverberate for years. Political appointees have shut down government studies, reduced the influence of scientists over regulatory decisions and in some cases pressured researchers not to speak publicly. The administration has particularly challenged scientific findings related to the environment and public health opposed by industries such as oil drilling and coal mining. It has also impeded research around human-caused climate change, which President Trump has dismissed despite a global scientific consensus.

Trump’s irresponsible behavior has made this crisis worse than it needed to be. Will we survive, thanks to the folks who are taking decisive action, at the state level, in private industry and by those in the government who are finally allowed to speak the truth. Some Americans are in denial, and others are feeling despair. Both sentiments are understandable. We all have a choice to make. We can stick our head in the sand or we can work together to get through it. Our nation has faced massive threats before and risen to the challenge; we can do it again.

Here is the Kendall County Website Link  discussing the Kendall County COVID-19 plan. It includes links to a number of sites with valuable information. Please stay informed, stay calm and do your part to control and defeat this horrible virus. Also, we must all work to finally turn Texas blue by implementing the KCDP GOTV (Get Out the Vote) plan now being developed.

Runoff Election Delayed

Pursuant to a proclamation issued Friday, Governor Greg Abbot has suspended certain provisions in the Texas Election Code, to move the primary runoff date to July 14, 2020. This is a very appropriate move given our current situation, although the date conflicts with the Democratic National Convention, interesting. You will now have more time to ponder our two critical runoffs. M.J. Hegar and Royce West  are running in a primary runoff for U.S. Senate. Both are strong candidates and we must choose the one who is best able to beat Senator Cornyn. The second race is for Railroad Commission which pits ‎Chrysta Castaneda against Roberto Alonzo.

Let me close with a big thank you to Laura Bray for coordinating our County Convention which was completed in a pro-forma fashion on March 21. The format was a constantly moving target and Laura sure rolled with all the changes. I also want to thank Shawn Bonner, Steve Rogers and Luke Rosenberger who were the reduced staff for the event.

Please stay safe. We will be doing things virtually for a bit and will be posting upcoming virtual candidate events on our website.

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