One of the images that helps carry me through these hunkered down days is of a walk in Sherman’s—and my—beloved Central Park. Another image is of senators and scientists speaking with one voice, all finding their consciences and their courage in the service of this country. If they all spoke up, the bully would be beaten. It is, I know, unlikely, but, like Sherman, I am not ready to give up hope.
by Sherman Yellen, New York, NY
I have been staying in place or, as they used to say, “hunkered down” in my apartment for a few weeks that feel like a few months that are soon to seem like a few years. Not having access to my garden Central Park, I am living in a very attractive set of boxes in a very old apartment building with a very marvelous wife, my contact with the outside world is FB and a few telephone calls from friends and family. I am looking jealously out my window at the empty streets that, if our President has his say, will soon be filling up with people who are eager to execute a voluntary death sentence upon themselves. I am not one of them.
I met the remarkable Dr. Fauci many years ago. My old college honored both of us at a ceremony—the good doctor for his work in science—me because of my contribution to literature—really it was a musical I had written. He was a most amiable fellow. But I have seen enough gangster movies to know that it is unwise to kiss the ring of power—power is built on betrayal, and that by standing by the President and allowing him to spew forth his ignorance—even as one attempts to correct it—you may feel that you are doing a public service, but you end by giving weight to his malignant ignorance by letting him hover over you like a madman’s drone.
Speak up in a full voice. As every other man or woman of science is sworn to do. Tyrants cannot be subdued or sanitized, they can only be served. This goes for every other scientist who is biting a tongue waiting for Trump to choke on his own Tweets. It won’t happen. Not until brave women and men sing out in a celestial chorus, “Sir, you are fulla sh-t. Shut up with your lies and let those who have knowledge and understanding of science work towards a vaccine or some palliative meds that bring this killer virus to an end. Best of all, step aside POTUS, and no longer hinder the progress that science is making towards a cure.” If that fails to work, use a louder voice and repeat, “Get lost you ignorant piece of sh-t.” And quit. It isn’t a team you are supporting, it is a terror.
I have just heard Dr. Fauci issue a stern warning to the county about returning to “normal” and risking a return to the virus in a new more virulent form. All against the Presidential advice. That is the man I hoped he would be.