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Policital repurcussions 

On March 15, 2020, the Santa Maria Times published a column by Andy Caldwell who deliberately understated the effect of the COVID-19 virus on the American public. The Republican candidate for the 24th Congressional District followed a long list of conservative lawmakers who have been gaslighting the public for weeks regarding the coronavirus.

It started weeks ago when the president, at a rally in South Carolina, called the global pandemic a "Democrat" hoax. In an interview with CNBC on Jan. 22, Trump claimed his administration had the coronavirus outbreak in the United States "Totally under control." Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn tweeted a photo of him drinking a Corona Extra at what appeared to be an empty bar. California Republican Congressman Devin Nunes encouraged people to dine out even though health experts were urging social distancing. These are only a few examples of Republican politicians making light of the situation, not to mention Fox News, conservative talk radio, and other right-wing media lying to America.

In an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll conducted from March 11 through 13, only 40 percent of self-described Republicans believed the worst is yet to come. Only 30 percent of Republicans planned to stop large gatherings. Only 23 percent of Republicans were going to cancel or reschedule travel plans. The coronavirus does not discriminate. If every American does not take the COVID-19 pandemic seriously, we will never get this outbreak under control. Our response to this crisis will determine whether the nation plunges into another depression rather than a recession We need a representative in Washington who is focused on solving problems and bringing people together during a real-life national emergency. The last thing our country needs is another Republican congressman delaying the response by burying their heads in the sand because of political ramifications!

Jose Luis Castellanos

Santa Maria

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