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  • Reverend James Squire

Deal Maker Or Brick Thrower We Need A Model To Live

Updated: Feb 8, 2021

The American people desperately need a deal struck by the Democrats and Republicans in Congress to provide additional aid to those who need financial help and rent due. One of the key figures making the deal for the Republicans is White House Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows. who as a conservative member of the House and the former Chairman of the Conservative House Freedom Caucus. He is in a difficult spot for he is known as a “brick thrower and not a deal maker”. He has historically been critical of dealmakers in both the Republican and Democratic parties. Now he finds himself having to cut a most important deal to make with the Coronavirus Relief Package.

There is a cautionary tale here for those who are Monday Morning Quarterbacks. Namely, at some point you could be in the role that you are constantly criticizing.

I am at my best when I act on an important question. What would our community or nation be like if we treated everyone like our very lives depended on one and another? If history repeats itself, I don’t think that we can depend on others to adopt this point of view. We can’t get everyone to wear masks, keep six feet apart, or wash our hands. We know that we should treat others as we want to be treated. When I asked a former member of our Security Staff at the Episcopal Academy, Mr. Thomas Hunter, what he thought was the reason for ignoring these guidelines, he quickly replied, “Those people are stupid.” That comes from a very astute person with a man of the people approach. So how do we make people smarter?

Nobody has discussed a decision-making model for treating Covid 19 patients. The guideline now is if they show up at the hospital, you have to treat them. What about the risk to the medical staffs and their families? We have decision-making models already. One is already used in facilities who have been overrun with cases with no space left. We treat the ones that we think will survive. This was the controversial policy during Hurricane Katrina at Memorial Hospital in New Orleans written about by Sheri Fink in Five Days At Memorial. This raises one of the most difficult bioethical questions. Consider for a moment if we were acting in a utilitarian ethical perspective, we would do “the greatest good for the greatest number of a group”. If we know that 30 people came down with the virus through tracing after they attended a party with no mask, social distancing and hand washing, should they be treated before 30 people who got the virus as part of the general contagion? We have limited resources that only 30 could be treated. We have all seen the party pics. Choices have consequences! This is a classic bioethics case study. In reality we don’t have a limitless supply of people and product to treat Covid 19.

I am tired of people saying masks are stupid, then get the virus, and have a conversion experience to “I was wrong. Wear a Mask.” In the meantime they have put medical people and others at risk.

There is a disconnect between reality and action. Right now the burden is on the essential workers. We need to shift some of that burden to the patients who did not adhere to the guidelines.

What would our nation look like if we treated everyone as though our lives depended on it?

That’s the question that needs to be asked. That’s where we are right now. If people acted responsibly we would be out of this by the Fall according to the experts. We would be done, with fewer deaths. We need a plan to get us there. A policy such as you need to follow the guidelines or face an unpleasant option

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