The Negligence of the Trump Administration

What is negligence? According to Webster’s it is “failure to exercise the care that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in life’s circumstances.”

When President Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows bluntly said “We’re not going to control the pandemic” it solidified the negligence of the Trump administration. There have been over 80,000 Americans infected and 1,000 deaths per day over the weekend from Covid and over 225,000 deaths since the pandemic began. We know Judaism’s primary value is pikuah nefesh, safeguarding life. To know measures which work to curb Covid, such as masking and social distancing, and deliberately not advocate, worse make fun of, people who wear them is negligence of the first degree. We know there are measures that can slow the spread yet the President’s chief of staff wants no part in them.

Thank God, I live in Miami where I can spend a sufficient amount of time outdoors in the winter. I feel for those in Denver where it’s currently 7 degrees or Missoula where it’s 1 degree. This cold winter is not going to stop people from going to work in multi story buildings or from essential business travel. Having an administration that admits it will do nothing to combat Covid, essentially advocating for the herd immunity, and which advocates for “learning to live with it,” is committing negligence of the first degree.

The Torah states “You shall not place a stumbling block before the blind.” An administration which purposefully withheld information in January and February so as not to “cause a panic” has placed a massive stumbling block which led many people I know to become infected with Covid. The Torah also states “build a parapet for your roof” so that those in danger of harm will be protected. Where’s the parapet protecting the “essential” meatpackers or our essential teachers risking their lives day after day going into work?

This administration is clearly guilty of negligence. I am tired of being a guinea pig in its futile experiment to “do nothing” and see how many get Covid.

About the Author
Rabbi Ben Herman joined Bet Shira Congregation in 2019. He values personally engaging with each individual he meets and hearing their story. Karina and he are the parents of two beautiful girls: Ariela Shira and Leora Rose.
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