Time to Assess

The US is making progress in getting control of this global pandemic that has affected our lives significantly. COVID-19 cases are still high, but hospitalizations and deaths are declining. Our experience shows that we still need to pursue the activities needed to halt the spread: masking, distancing, and vaccination.

It is time to start assessing what was done well, and where significant improvements are needed. In this period where everything seems to be political, we need to approach this after-action analysis with reason, evidence, and a focus on our collective security, not seek to blame or exonerate. We must come together and define future action that has rational steps that will re-establish trust in our common efforts.

I am reminded of how we addressed the failures of the September 11th terrorist attack (9/11) and Hurricane Katrina, both of which were reviewed in a manner that was national in scope and bipartisan in structure. By using these principles, we were able to identify and act upon needed improvements which have served us well. In the case of Hurricane Katrina, over 150 specific improvements were identified and acted upon that have enhanced our response to hurricane devastation.

At this moment, no proposals have been offered by the Congress or Administration for a comprehensive review of the Covid-19 response. This is unfortunate, for, if there is no leadership in developing a national process, we will be stuck in a partisan morass of finger-pointing and posturing. This will not serve the Nation well. It will continue to feed competing “facts” and narratives rather than address substantive corrective action and restore belief in the social contract that is central to the American experiment. Let us come together and create a better future rather than continuing to follow the divisive path we are on.

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