Opinion: Decisive leadership needed in COVID-19 crisis

Northeast MS news decisive leadership needed
T. R. then vs T. R. now
March 13th, 2020     Featured Opinion

 “In any moment of decision, the best you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”–Theodore Roosevelt


Northeast MS -Crisis calls for decisive leadership. Whether the coronavirus threat is overblown or understated, America is in a crisis regarding how we cope with it. For a number of weeks our leaders have dithered rather than led in putting together a coherent response. Allowing for the fact that even leading medical scientists are far from unanimous in their evaluation of the COVID-19 threat, our political leaders have seemed reluctant, even timid, when it comes to directing an aggressive plan to protect public health.

Are there enough test kits available? How many are there and where are they? When will we have more available? Why do other countries have them and we don’t? Try finding solid answers to any of these questions.

Decisive leadership needed: Feet on the ground!

From President Trump, whose nine-minute coronavirus speech Wednesday evening clearly lacked the famous Trump self-confidence and verve, to Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves, who was AWOL at a youth soccer tournament in Spain when the first case was confirmed in the state, we do not see our leaders leading.

On the local level, we’ve seen leadership (or lack of it) similar to what we see at the top. With most sporting events, concerts, and even local colleges closing, the public is looking at the school systems to see what their next steps are. Most area schools are about to come back from spring break, which has many people concerned about the coronavirus.

Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton made a fairly strong public statement yesterday afternoon, but we are aware of no other Northeast Mississippi officials who have made much attempt to get out ahead of this thing. Shelton said he believed the public schools should remain closed at least Monday and Tuesday of next week, but emphasized he does not have the authority to order it.

The public schools are the area of greatest concern to thousands of parents and pupils. Decisive leadership from that quarter has been mixed and disappointing.

Tupelo schools are considering taking an extended spring break, while other schools seem to be doing the minimum when it comes to being prepared. Some area schools are cleaning and disinfecting during spring break. Some schools are providing disinfectant sprays and hand sanitizer, but in the words of one teacher, “We go through so much [of it].”

The Union County School Board released a statement early Thursday evening, March 12, saying that they will “continue to monitor the situation on the coronavirus.” And that “the district is taking necessary precautions for our students and staff.”

In a time of uncertainty, parents do not want bland, blanket statements that merely repeat what other districts said weeks ago. They want leaders to do their jobs and take charge of the situation.

Shelton and Kent try to get out ahead of the issue : https://www.nemiss.news/jason-shelton-holds-corona-virus-press-conference/  and https://www.nemiss.news/new-albany-coronavirus-plan/

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