Transition to a Post Election Reality

In the US National Election of 2020, even as the final votes are being tallied, President Donald Trump is desperately searching for election irregularities to support his baseless proclamation made on election night that he won the 2020 general election. Since the election, for the most part, Trump has laid low, appearing momentarily in blurred repose, on the golf course but mostly keeping out of the public eye. He has been bunkered down in the White House and dictating his “lesser angels” to report his next term delusions. Reports abound that Trump is seeking ways to interfere with the transfer of power to his rival, President Elect Joe Biden, who won the presidential race. Meanwhile, the press speculates on how much danger Trump might pose to others, in terms generally relegated to someone being considered for involuntary commitment.

Although Trump won a respectable amount of votes: 72+ million, Joe Biden received 77+ million votes and the requisite 270 + electoral votes needed to win. The Associated Press called the race with 306 votes for Biden and 232 votes for Trump.

The actual electoral vote happens on Dec. 16th. Ironically, there was no massive blue tidal wave that flooded down ballot to the advantage of the high ground democrats. By all accounts, the election was well run, with high participation, despite the pandemic. Little evidence provides support for Trump’s claims of “a rigged election”.

Despite Trump’s attempts to undermine the credibility of the election, especially with his regurgitated protestations about mail in voting, his predictive claims have proved misplaced and multiple legal cases have been thrown out of court expeditiously. The mail in vote did exactly as advertised. It increased participation, convenience and safety in the middle of a pandemic. It was NOT an untried or risky process. It has worked well in multiple states. Mail in voting has worked in Oregon for 20 years. In Washington state, which has enjoyed the convenience and security inherent in mail voting, it is an easy process. You register; you receive a ballot; you can mail it at the Post Office; you can drop it off at a ballot box or you can vote in person! The system works very well – no postage required! There is a paper copy of the results and it is not attached to the internet, so it is less subject to corruption. After voting, you can even easily check on line, to find out if your vote has been accepted.

The question is, how far will the “Trumplicans” (Trump Republicans) go to satisfy their moping leader? How many people will Trump “tweet fire” to assign blame and save face? To placate the President, will his closest aides risk undermining the democratic process? Will they risk the security of the nation?

Per (CNN), Former White House chief of staff John Kelly issued an on-the-record statement criticizing President Donald Trump saying, “The delay in transitioning is an increasing national security and health crisis. It costs the current administration nothing to start to brief Mr. Biden, Ms. Harris, the new chief-of-staff, and ALL identified cabinet members and senior staff,… the downside to not doing so could be catastrophic to our people regardless of who they voted for.”

It is time for Republicans, and others, to insist Trump follow the hallowed tradition of the United States government, as modeled by our first President, George Washington. The tradition throughout American history has been to peacefully pass the reins of power from one president to the next president, with grace, dignity and honor. Anything less is behavior unbefitting. The whole world is watching and history is judging!

So, what does this have to do with nursing? We are in a pandemic. We must be able to trust leaders, supervisors, managers, nurses and others to make appropriate policy decisions based on sound scientific facts, to advocate for the best practices, and certainly to tell the truth. If you are a nurse or medical worker wondering whether your coworkers are well and able to work, or if there will be enough PPE to work safely, or you are anxious about the risks of your job, the situation is rife with anxiety for medical professionals, caregivers, patients, residents, and families. Nurses need to be able to count on sound leadership. The fact is, it was clear to anyone paying attention, that a pandemic could happen with the early reports about the viral outbreak in China. The pandemic was predictable and predicted. The cases in China were in the news. The cases in Washington state were in the news. The cases spreading across the country are still in the news. Meanwhile, some countries, like New Zealand, have had greater success dealing with the pandemic with clear policies and more successful outcomes. President Trump did not communicate or model safe policies. He ignored the obvious, he ignored the science, he ignored the professionals, and he opened the door to letting the pandemic get out of control by minimizing the risks. The greatest failure was the mixed messaging and the lack of will to control the pandemic in the first place. This failure lead to the lock downs, the worsening economy, and the deaths of a quarter of a million Americans.

Be thankful that the election is behind us, that the hateful rhetoric has quieted, and that President Elect, Joe Biden has already appointed a Covid task force, as his first order of business.

Continue to do what you can to stay safe in a proactive way. Wear a face mask in public, provide social distancing, do frequent hand washing, get tested when symptomatic or with known Covid 19 exposure, follow the guidelines of the health departments, CDC and medical professionals, state officials and get the flu vaccine and encourage your family do the same. After known exposure, self quarantine for 10-14 days. Get tested for Covid with symptoms or known exposure. These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus:

  • Fever or chills, elevated temperature
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea

With new leadership, sound policy, renewed resolve, new therapeutics and vaccines under development, hopefully the cases will begin to trend downward and Trump and the pandemic will be relegated to the history books. Have a safe Thanksgiving! Thank you for following my blog! I look forward to your feedback!

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