It’s time to stand up against GOP’s abusive relationship with America

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By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times @mikemcgannpa

If you grew up in an abusive household, as I did, the last four years probably seemed a lot like an echo of days gone past, but writ large.

The denial of truth, the gaslighting, the abusive behavior and the cruelty for the sake of cruelty are staples of an abusive relationship and, it seems to be mainstream Republican politics now. For years, I was told I was overreacting. If anything, I was too sanguine, having faith that things would only go so far.

And now, just two weeks after fostering a literal insurrection — after weeks of denial that a free and fair election took place — now we’re at “let’s just move on and go back to normal — or else” phase of the abuse.

Those of us who are survivors of abuse have seen this movie before, and to paraphrase Taylor Swift, we didn’t like the ending.

If we just “let it go” and allow unity without full accountability for a literal coup d’etat, we won’t like the ending, the ending of democracy as we know it.

For those elected officials in Pennsylvania who knowingly and relentlessly lied about what was a free and fair election — many of whom now want to take away our “no excuse” mail in voting rights and gerrymander state judges — there is no excuse. Some, clearly had some level of involvement in the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol, but continue to act like it was no big deal. 

It was a big deal. It was sedition.

A New York Times report this week says U.S. Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) was in the middle of an attempt to decapitate the U.S. Justice Department in order to overturn the election results in Georgia and other states.

Initially, Perry was not identified, which led to speculation of potential Republicans nearing a dozen for whom this might have been plausible.

That there were too many suspects to easily identify which Pennsylvania politician was pro-sedition says all you need to know about the Pennsylvania Republican Party.

We need to heal as a nation, but this cannot happen until those responsible for this attack on our fundamental rights need to face a reckoning.

So, no, there cannot be “unity.” There cannot be peace.

Not until everyone faces the consequences of their actions.

Otherwise, we are just enabling this to happen again — and next time, it will likely succeed.

This is the time to stand up for your democracy.


So it turns out, the COVID-19 plan was to have no plan — or not much of one.

According to multiple news sources, the Trump Administration had almost no plan to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine, leaving the incoming Biden Administration to almost start from scratch with lower vaccine reserves than initially claimed.

Based on the published reports, the Trump plan was to dump vaccine into the states and hope the states could figure it out, but not be entirely honest about how much vaccine was coming or was held in reserve, making planning nearly impossible.

And this matters directly to you — this week, Chester County officials announced the county is getting half of the number the number of doses expected, just as the state expanded who would be eligible for the first phase of inoculations.

Reading between the lines, county officials don’t seem thrilled by the lack of supply:

“The Chester County Health Department is processing the impact of the recent changes made by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, moving those over the age of 65 and those 16-64 with certain medical conditions into Phase 1A. This change adds 90,000+ eligible people to Phase 1A, a large increase of eligible people for Phase 1A.   On average, the Chester County Health Department has received 2,000 doses per week, and in total, the county has been averaging receipt of 6,000 doses of the vaccine each week, divided among all providers.  Each vaccine requires two doses.

“The change in Phase 1A eligibility has not brought additional vaccines to our county.  In fact, we have been told to expect vaccine shortages.  As an example, this week we requested 5,000 doses and only received 2,500.  The shortage of vaccine is not an issue exclusive to Chester County.  All other regions within the Pennsylvania – and the nation – are affected by the lack of vaccine supply.

“The Health Department opens appointments (and locations) based on the availability of vaccine to administer.  We will be launching a system where those who work or live in Chester County can register their interest in receiving the vaccine, regardless of what phase they may be in.  Regular communication will go out to all who register, with updates on progress, vaccine and appointment availability.

“Residents are encouraged to monitor the Pennsylvania Vaccine Provider Map for other possible locations of vaccine providers in the county.”

If Chesco can only expect 2,500 doses a week, it will take about seven months to vaccinate the entire county. The economic impact of continued closures — and people just being afraid to go out — builds with each month. You can’t blame Chester County Health, its process has been efficient and well-managed — but they can’t give out shots with vaccine they don’t have.

This coda to the Trump Administration’s utter failure to manage the COVID pandemic would be funny, were it not so tragic. How many people will die — we’re lost about 420,000 so far — waiting for a vaccine? How many small businesses will fail because it took months longer to reach a full reopening?

All indications are that the new Biden Administration will work to both ramp up production of vaccine and advocate for state and local resources to help get it in people’s arms. But Republicans continue to irrationally object to any funds for states and local governments, because some of the “Blue” states might get money.

So, if you have to wait — or worse, have to watch a loved one die needlessly, waiting for their vaccine — it’s not the fault of local officials. Our county government has stepped up and put forward a strong process to end this pandemic.

Keep that in mind during the next few months as your frustration sets in.

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