“Powerful enemies must be out-fought and out-produced…It is not enough to turn out just a few more planes, a few more tanks, a few more guns, a few more ships than can be turned out by our enemies…We must out-produce them overwhelmingly, so that there can be no question of our ability to provide a crushing superiority of equipment in any theatre of the world war.”
– President Franklin Delano Roosevelt
The strongest, most powerful nation on Earth defeated the greatest threat to humanity in the 20th Century because it made the decision to bring its vast and overwhelming might to bear to vanquish tyranny and fanaticism.
The Leader of the free world, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, when finally confronted with the demons who wished to destroy America’s way of life and deprive free humans around the globe their liberty didn’t waver and he didn’t wobble.
He made the decision to wage total absolute war.
In the end, total absolute war won.
He directed the building of the arsenal of democracy and democracy won.
History shows — time and time again — that victors do not win with half measures and wishes.
As a war worker from times, Jeroline Green, said it best when it came to explaining why she and others committed to America’s cause worked as hard as they did to crank out needed war material:
“You felt that you had to get this done as soon as you can and as fast as you can. You wanted to get it over with as soon as possible. And we did whatever was necessary.”
“…we did whatever was necessary.”
Here’s the thing. To beat Coronavirus — or any other public health threat facing America — we must adopt the same perspective that America had when we chose to win the war against Germany and Japan.
Bring total and absolute and overwhelming force and resources against it.
We must do whatever is necessary to get it over with as soon as possible.
If we don’t have enough testing equipment — invent them.
If we don’t have enough hospital beds — get them.
If we don’t have enough medicine and vaccines — make them.
If we don’t have enough machines to save the lives of people with coronavirus — build them.
This isn’t rocket science. This isn’t complicated. This isn’t difficult.
Invent. Get. Make. Build.
Instead of an Arsenal of Democracy let’s build an Arsenal of American Health.
American politicians — those on the left and those on the right — those in Congress — and those in the White House — have all sorts of excuses about why we haven’t made it, gotten it, or built it.
Not a single one of their excuses would have defeated facism and totalitarianism — and not one of them will defeat this public health crisis or the next one or the next one after the next one.
America’s not equal to Italy or China or Iran when it comes to our greatness as a nation or our ability and capacity to overwhelm our enemies.
We are better than Italy and China and Iran and we should show the world that we are in our response to coronavirus and every other public health emergency the world will face in the future.
If it takes the President of the United States to declare a National Emergency to do all the things we should have been doing long before Coronavirus even became a social media sensation then fine. Declare a National Emergency and let’s get at it!
It’s not Obama’s fault anymore than it’s Trumps fault — or Bush’s fault — or Clinton’s — or every other President and Congress that has failed to use their imagination to prepare America for what was likely to come and is likely to come again in the future.
Donald Rumsfeld, one of America’s worst war leaders in modern times, once had the audacity to say that “You go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time.” to justify his ineptness in providing American troops with the armor they needed to protect themselves and defeat the enemy.
It wasn’t like Rumsfeld woke up one morning and America was at war.
He had plenty of time to equip America’s warfighters with the resources they needed to vanquish the enemy.
It’s not like political leaders woke up one morning and America was dealing with a public health crisis.
They, and we, have had plenty of time to equip America’s virusfighters with the resources they need to vanquish the enemy.
We know there will be another virus after Coronavirus.
We know that America’s current capacity to respond to that virus and public health emergency is not worthy of a great nation like ours.
Let’s start acting like the Superpower that we are.
Let’s begin to behave like we are the nation that has saved the planet and people in the past and is capable of doing so again…and again…and again.
Build an Arsenal of American Public Health and remind the world of who we have been, who we are and who we will always be: The strongest, most powerful and most essential nation on Earth.