Letter to the Editor

COVID-19 response risks national security

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

I grew up learning about my mother’s childhood spent as an evacuee from Hitler’s attacks on her country. Maybe that’s why I’ve never considered the U.S. invulnerable, but not in a million years did I imagine we would be told to make peace with the national security peril in which we find ourselves.

With much of the U.S. military living in our communities as members of the Reserve and National Guard, it is illogical from a national defense standpoint that this president and Iowa’s senators would let COVID-19 so ravage American people, workforces, and institutions. Why have Senators Ernst and Grassley allowed President Trump to lead the surrender of this great country to COVID-19? Who stands to benefit from our government's deliberately shambolic response to this virus which has sickened Americans by the millions, left untold numbers permanently disabled, and may kill up to 30,000 more of us in the first three weeks of July alone (per CDC).

Six times in June, Russian incursions using nuclear-capable bombers, reconnaissance aircraft, and maritime patrol aircraft have been intercepted by U.S. and Canadian Air Forces off the coast of Alaska. Also in June, Putin launched the Knyaz Vladimir submarine to join Russia's northern fleet while the Arctic sea ice continues melting at a rate of 12.85% per decade (per NASA). Remember the UFO videos taken by Navy pilots that the Pentagon released in April that we shrugged off, already overwhelmed? It turns out China and Russia both report having maneuverable hypersonic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. Curious as to what that would look like on video.

Iowa's senators have had more than five months to persuade or pressure Trump into putting the Defense Production Act into force which would have guaranteed Americans a life-saving supply of personal protective and medical equipment, not to mention showing leadership on simple actions that other countries quickly adopted that would have created a firebreak for us against this contagion.

Senator Ernst serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee which months ago should have begun an investigation into the impact on national security of the Trump administration’s COVID-19 response. Perhaps she could gin up some enthusiasm for it now along with an investigation into how this president—that she and Senator Grassley so publicly admire and support—came to allow Putin to place and pay out bounties to the Taliban on the lives of American soldiers.

On the day I am writing this, the U.S. infection rate ranks third highest on earth (867.9 per 100,00 people) preceded only by Chile and Peru and followed by Brazil, Russia, Iran, Columbia and Mexico (per Johns Hopkins). I refuse to accept any elected official telling us that Americans must learn to live with this pathetic and perilous status in the world. Standing together, we have always triumphed over the challenges of our darkest days and selflessly done our duty to our country. With or without leadership, now is the time for Iowans to remember who we are and RISE!

— Lauren Holst, Cedar Falls