We’ve been relying on governors during coronavirus crisis


(Portland) Commercial Review

Who would ever have expected that in a time of crisis the United States would be relying upon its governors?


Those are the people whose to-do list involves public schools and highway maintenance, not pandemics.

Yet that’s where we find ourselves today.

And while the noise coming out of Washington continues to be both disappointing and disturbing, it’s the nation’s governors who are rising to the occasion.

Both parties have governors to be proud of:

Republican Larry Hogan of Maryland

Democrat J.B. Pritzger of Illinois

Republican Mike DeWine of Ohio.

Democrat Andy Beshear of Kentucky

Republican Eric Holcomb of Indiana

Democrat Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan

Some — like New York’s Andrew Cuomo and California’s Gavin Newsom — have proved to be thorns in the side of the Trump White House.

But all of those cited have faced the challenges before them head-on. Maybe that’s because after years of dealing with issues like public schools and highway projects they know how to get things done. Their mindset is practical and pragmatic, and less ideological or political.

These governors know how to focus on outcomes: How many ventilators will we need? How long does a stay-at-home order make sense? And, ultimately, how do we get done what needs to be done in order to save lives and reduce human suffering?

Unfortunately, if the nation is relying upon its governors, the results are going to be uneven at best.

Decisions by governors in Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, and others, for example, are going to take a toll in human lives. Rather than being practical or pragmatic, rather than listening to the best scientific and medical advice available, more than a handful of governors have let their political posturing take the place of meaningful action.

None of this would matter, of course, if strong, consistent, intelligent and articulate direction was coming from the federal government.

But, sadly, that’s been missing.

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