Dear Editor:

President Trump declared war against the coronavirus far too late in the ballgame.

Many people have died needlessly. Decisive leadership was needed at the outset. Now we have lost the ground we painfully gained during the early quarantine, and experts have advised that we start over.

America has been brought to its knees. The president tried his best. Unfortunately, he has failed. His best just wasn’t good enough. We need and deserve better or more of us will die.

We are begging for a unified voice and competence from the top. Mr. Trump shockingly disavowed responsibility for protecting us and resorted to his tired old bag of tricks to divert our attention. Now he claims he’s in charge but he isn’t; COVID-19 is. He’s desperate that we not focus on the mounting pile of bodies and failures that represent his presidential leadership during this crisis. With deaths surpassing 150,000, he now begs us to send our children back to school full time, or else — virus be damned.

We are desperate for real leadership. If Mr. Trump had simply told us early on to pull together and endure difficult sacrifices to protect ourselves and one another, we would have rallied around him.

The right pandemic response isn’t about individual or constitutional rights, or the law. It’s about saving lives — yours and mine. It’s about responsible American citizenship. A competent leader would’ve understood this. Vote in November like your life depends on it, because it does.

Emma Jones

Winterville

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