As we hauntingly approach the stark milestone of 150,000 irreplaceable American lives lost from the scourge of COVID-19, I wonder how much unimaginable loss will yet be needed for a federal response to be activated that is anything approaching competent and at the scale required.

When coronavirus briefings do occur with Mike Pence, it seems a veneer of falsehoods is slapped on this most urgent crisis rather than a display of will to attempt to contain the virus and to work more directly with states to advise them on what steps need to be taken. The administration ought to allow Dr. Anthony Fauci to speak directly to the public on the news rather than severely limiting his public appearances. In this crisis, his nonpartisan voice of experience is one we can trust, and yet that voice is dampened so that we all somehow might forget the incomprehensible loss of life and start pumping money into the economy.

I realize this is an economic catastrophe the likes of which haven’t been seen since the Great Depression, but our government has the resources to shepherd us through this crisis. If only there were someone willing to step up and prioritize health, safety, and, yes, our very lives, while keeping small businesses and individuals afloat and eschewing tax cuts for multi-million-dollar corporations.

We need swift action and some semblance of steady, moral leadership so that the dire prediction of another 100,000 deaths by Thanksgiving does not come to fruition.

Jenny Kuderer, Goodview