Until today I thought nothing could have been more tragic in my lifetime than 9/11. I, like so many, was devastated by the loss of 2,977 people on that day. Thousands more will die from cancer as a result of toxic exposure in the vicinity of the World Trade Towers during the following days and months after 9/11.
That brings us to the Covid-19 pandemic. 190,000 souls have lost their lives so far to this cruel virus with more losses to come. Maybe you. Maybe me. This does not include the hundreds of thousands who will continue to suffer with ongoing symptoms and possibly shortened lives. According to Columbia University, the US could have prevented 36,000 deaths, if social distancing measures had put into place only one week earlier. And if restrictions had gone into effect in the two weeks earlier, researchers found, nearly 54,000 people would still be alive.
While we were totally unprepared for the terrorist attacks on 9/11, we could have prepared for the pandemic and saved so many. Why didn’t we? We now know according to taped interviews between author Bob Woodward and Trump, we could have saved thousands. And had a less devastating impact on our economy. Trump chose to keep the genie in the bottle for his own misguided reason. Every leader knows that even adequate leadership requires honesty and compassion. There was no leadership on February 7th when Trump shared with t Woodward the truth about the virus, and, thereafter, decided to keep it from the Nation. There continues to be no leadership from the top of our government today.
We all said “Never Forget” after 9/11. “Never Forget” is more important than ever with the pandemic. I will never forget why this pandemic is as tragic as it is; and how good leadership at the top could have saved thousands of people. I will honor the victims of the pandemic and 9/11 when I vote for in November. What will you do?
About the Author: Leslie Grossman, Executive Leadership Coach; Senior Fellow, Faculty Director, Executive Women’s Leadership, The George Washington University Center for Excellence in Public Leadership. Leslie@lesliegrossmanleadership.com