First of all, I recognize it’s much easier to be an armchair quarterback than to be the one calling the shots. Our leaders, from all levels of government, have had to make unprecedented decisions in the wake of COVID-19. In many cases, their decisions have been a matter of life and death and extremely difficult to make. There’s always going to be people that disagree with those decisions, especially in a free country, and particularly in Nevada, where we’re as independent as it gets.
When we elect our leaders, we need to consider their character, leadership abilities and how we expect them to handle crisis situations, such as the one we’re in now. As an example, when we vote for the president, we need to imagine how he would handle a direct attack on our country. Likewise, on a state level, how would the candidate for governor lead during a crisis?
Governor Sisolak held a briefing on Tuesday, April 21 to provide an update on reopening the state. The much-anticipated conference came on the heels of the President Trump’s announcement that state openings would be directed by the governors of each state.
After tuning in, my big take-away from the announcement was that the governor held the briefing to let us know he doesn’t have a plan … and doesn’t know when he will. To be fair, Sisolak did let us know he would move the state from “Phase 0” to “Phase 1” once Nevada saw a consistent two weeks of downward movement with COVID-19… or did he? When asked of what that downward movement consistency looked like, one of his experts essentially answered that was really, difficult to define. Really? That’s no answer all. And, what the heck is “Phase 0”? He offered this information up with absolutely no explanation or solid direction to move forward, something Nevada desperately needs right now.
Instead of providing hope, he provided despair. Instead of instilling a sense of confidence that he had a plan, his lack of direction was discouraging. At a time when our state needed hope, our governor failed us miserably. Instead of taking the opportunity to instill a sense of stability, he did just the opposite.
While I’m all about keeping our citizens safe, I’ve seen some irrational moves from the governor in response to COVID-19. Golf is not a contact sport and had provided a much-needed outlet for many throughout the state. However, the governor chose to close the courses, both public and private. The same applies to parks, which allow plenty of space for social distancing, but are now also closed. While I believe there needs to be social distancing measures in place in public areas, it seems a bit extreme to ban the use of outdoor spaces altogether.
COVID-19 has created a myriad of issues, with the health concerns of the virus just one of them. Therefore, it must be attacked on several different levels. Byproducts of the virus are increased domestic violence, drug abuse, suicide and a host of social and health issues, not to mention a failed economy. If the governor has considered the whole picture and planned for it, as far as I know, he hasn’t shared those thoughts and plans with the public.
In short, we need our governor to lead from a position of strength and instill confidence, hope, transparency and a sense of direction for our state. In my opinion, he has not done so during this crisis.
When we cast our votes, we need to consider leadership, because when the metaphorical tsunami hits, it’s too late, and we all pay the price. Let your voice be heard at the polls. Let’s not forget who stood out as strong leaders and who (Sisolak) demonstrated a complete lack of leadership during this crisis.