Starting in January, COVID-19 began to garner public attention around the globe. In February, the World Health Organization declared the newly discovered virus a global pandemic. Then March became the month of the breakout in the United States.

Throughout the initial outbreaks, President Donald Trump acted extremely un-presidential and even racist, ignorantly calling COVID-19 “the China Virus” in a press conference. Seven months have gone by, and yet the Trump Administration has failed to develop any comprehensive solution to combat this public health crisis, with the cost of 214,000 — as of Oct. 8 — American lives. 

When Trump rushed the schools to reopen, the case numbers reached another peak in August. Because Trump has disregarded science time after time, October has already proven worse than August.

Oct. 3, Trump tested positive for coronavirus, along with many other GOP members who attended a Rose Garden event regarding the nomination of Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

To be honest, this isn’t surprising. What could one expect from not wearing masks and spreading misinformation? The virus does not discriminate. What is shocking and alarming is that after being infected, instead of bringing caution to the public, he broadcasted the following message — “remember, when you catch it, you get better, and you’re immune.”

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The fact is, Trump had a speedy recovery because he used the most advanced treatment for the virus, which isn’t available to 99% of Americans. This simply proved his messaging is for the 1%, not the American people. He does not care about the American people, only the elites. In the 2016 primaries, most Trump supporters came from the wealthy class, rather than the working class

Trump’s attitudes toward the virus will make many think the virus is not deadly, which will help the virus spread and more people will die from COVID because of his misleading information. One of the President’s powers is known as the “bully pulpit,” meaning the President can use the mass media to broadcast certain messages. Trump is clearly abusing this power and endangering more people. 

It is unbelievable that Trumpe and many GOP members still do not support mask mandates, even if they are infected with the virus. It is pathetic and dangerous that they honestly believe this time, the virus is just going to disappear.

This time, if more people lose their lives because of this information, it will be on the Administration. With enough evidence, Trump should be charged with premeditated murder for withholding and misleading information regarding COVID-19, for the 214,000 lives that unfortunately have already been lost and for more potential damage that might be done. 

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Since February, Trump has claimed the virus will eventually go away 35 times. The data tells another story — the virus is not going away, but instead getting worse. In October, Wisconsin became the new epidemic center for the virus and the number of cases has reached a new record. 

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, unfortunately tested positive for coronavirus. Like many GOP members, he is still outspoken against mask mandates. The increasing number of cases among high profile politicians proves only one thing — if you do not take precautions, the virus will get to you and potentially take your life away. 

I wish those who are infected with the virus a speedy recovery. Taking precautions is not only for you but also to protect others in public spaces. The ignorance of GOP members who are against the mask mandate simply shows they are selfish and do not care if others contract the virus from them or not. When politicians fail to protect the public from danger, the people have the right to overthrow that government. 

Given the surging numbers in Wisconsin, you can do your part to protect yourself, your family and others. First, do not listen to Donald Trump or anyone who does not support mask mandates. 

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Secondly, follow your local health protocols — wear a mask when you are in public places, frequently wash your hands and practice social distancing. Do not go to gatherings that violate basic protocols. Stay at home and continue the quarantine to prevent the virus from spreading. Use technology to your advantage to socialize remotely. 

Last but not least, please remember to vote. This time, your vote will be extremely important to preserve American democracy and for America to recover from the pandemic. 

Ken Wang ([email protected]) is a sophomore majoring in political science.