We can’t trust Trump with our kids’ health
OPINION: It’s time to stand up to Donald Trump and vote for the Democratic leadership that we can trust with decisions that affect our kids
On July 17, America lost a courageous leader and a remarkable teacher. From a young age, Congressman John Lewis sacrificed his comfort and safety—Freedom Riding, crossing Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge, marching on Washington, serving as the conscience of Congress—so that others may live to see equal justice and experience the promise of this nation.
He called this work “good trouble” and urged us to keep it up as he watched the Trump administration stoke flames of hate, eliminate and drastically cut essential programs, and lead the country down a path of death and destruction with its glaring mismanagement of the coronavirus.
An unyielding passion for public service, social justice, and the people of Georgia, led me to work as a state senator and chair of Georgia’s Democratic party. Congressman Lewis was not only my mentor but my friend. He taught me many valuable lessons over the years, but on one point he never wavered: never let a bully stand in the way of what’s right for the American people.
With coronavirus numbers rising in Georgia, and nearly 4 million cases across the country, unemployment topping 11%, mass voter disenfranchisement, and the movement to protect Black lives sparking protests in neighborhoods across the nation, the country is crying out for help and stable leadership. Instead, we have a president who has made these crises so much worse.
Experts have told us what it will take to end this virus, but Donald Trump just does whatever it takes to save himself. He called for slowing down testing to make the numbers look better and refused to implement national mask guidelines or coordinate the distribution of protective equipment to those who needed it. Because of his failed response, more than 140,000 Americans are dead and cases are rising more rapidly than ever. More than four months into this crisis, he still doesn’t have a plan to get us out of it.
Because Trump let the virus get so out of control, many schools can’t reopen safely. Instead of listening to experts, parents, and teachers, Trump is threatening to force schools to reopen without the necessary equipment and testing, and he wants to cut their funding if they don’t.
As the mother of a rising kindergartener, I would never put his safety and well-being in the hands of Donald Trump. Trump continues to ignore the data that shows children can contract the coronavirus and infect their teachers and family members without showing any symptoms. A new study says kids starting at age 10 are at least as likely to spread the virus as adults. And after he claimed the coronavirus would ‘disappear’ and has still failed to set up the testing and contact tracing we needed to confront the pandemic, we can’t trust him to make decisions about our kids’ health.
The federal government should be providing schools with the resources they need during this crisis, but that is not happening under Trump. Former vice president Joe Biden has released a roadmap for how to reopen schools safely and get the coronavirus under control. We desperately need that kind of leadership in the White House.
I am honored to carry the mantle for Congressman Lewis and the 5th Congressional District. I am ready to get into good trouble. It’s time to stand up to bullies like Donald Trump and vote for the Democratic leadership that we can trust with decisions that affect our kids. Let’s elect Joe Biden, confront the crises facing our nation, and show Congressman Lewis that his legacy lives on.
Nikema Williams, state senator and Chair of the Georgia Democratic Party, will be on the ballot to replace Congressman Lewis this November.
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