13 Jul We deserve Serious Leadership
Dear Friends and Supporters,
I want to call your attention to Chris Stewart’s statements urging early re-opening of the economy.
In March, when it became clear how serious the outbreak of COVID-19 was in the U.S., Chris Stewart said,
“We know that from studying previous pandemics and other viruses, that they will peak and then they will begin to come down as we enter the summer months, and that gives us time to develop eventually a vaccine but also antivirals and other important medical necessities such as being able to detect it.”
I sent a letter to Stewart on March 25, 2020, after his answers during a town hall left me surprised by his focus on the economic costs of the pandemic—not the human toll or sense of urgency. Stewart never responded.
He did, however, find time to publicly and profusely support the Trump administration over the following months, despite their continued state of massive denial and constant trumpeting of false or misleading public health information. In contrast, German leaders told the truth and treated the pandemic seriously from the beginning. Here we are in high summer and no more prepared as a nation than we were in March. On July 9 Utah set a record for coronavirus cases in a single day with 866 new cases—with minority families paying the highest price.
Chris Stewart began urging state and local government officials to “reopen the economy” long before we had the virus contained. In April, just one month into the widening pandemic, Stewart said, “we have to talk about getting people back to work.” The next week in his April 17 newsletter he called President Trump’s plan to reopen “thorough and hopeful,” and a week after that he wrote, “Fortunately, the virus has proved far less deadly than initially believed. The numbers of projected deaths continue to be revised downward.”
When we began prematurely re-opening May 1st, these graphs tell the grim story of what happened next in Utah.
According to KCPW, the coronavirus death toll on May 1st in Utah was 46. Since then 169 Utahns have died. The rates of new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths continue to rise. Ignoring the danger that COVID-19 presents, as Stewart urged us to do, costs Utahns their lives and endangers both public health and the economy.
What I learned in my role with the State Department is straightforward and important: bad policy and incompetence in government gets people killed. None of us want to be where we are. What this virus has shown is that if we don’t have serious, experienced leaders in government, people can die.
Chris Stewart continues to be more interested in protecting and parroting Donald Trump—his constituent of one—than Utah families. In fact he hasn’t mentioned COVID-19 on social media since June 25th, when he excitedly posted about the reopening of Zion National Park. That’s not leadership. His political malfeasance and denial of medical data, biology, and scientific facts is costing lives.
Will you help me fight for science-based, people-first representation for Utah’s 2nd Congressional District? Stewart has a lot of cash—from corporate donors and PACS. Our support comes from you, our friends and neighbors in CD2. But quite frankly, we need a lot more if we’re going to reach this entire expansive district.
We can’t do it without you.
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