Roundup: Four Missouri Editorial Boards Call Out Gov. Mike Parson’s “Failure of Leadership”
Over the weekend, four Missouri editorial boards called out Republican Gov. Mike Parson for his “failure of leadership” on the COVID-19 crisis. Parson has done little to slow the spread in his state, and time is running out. Missouri saw a 600% increase in coronavirus cases last week, the largest spike in the country. And the Missouri State Medical Association predicts the state’s hospitals could be overwhelmed as soon as mid-April.
Missourians have asked time and time again for their governor to lead them through this crisis. Parson’s failure to act has already resulted in a devastating increase of coronavirus cases, and his continued denials could lead Missouri down an even worse path.
Read more about Mike Parson’s failure to lead in the editorials below:
St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Editorial: Parson must summon the courage to act against virus while there’s still time
Missouri is quickly becoming a national outlier for its lackluster response to the coronavirus pandemic. Gov. Mike Parson has declined to provide guidance to school districts. He resists imposing a statewide shelter-in-place order as other states have done, and he refuses to take decisive actions crucial to leading the state through this crisis. Experts believe the worst is yet to come. It’s time for Parson to set aside his less-is-more instincts of governance and take charge.
But the people in the best position to know the potential scope of the danger — Missouri doctors — warn against developing a false sense of security. A chilling analysis by the Missouri State Medical Association concludes that, with no action to keep Missourians from spreading the virus to one another, the state’s hospitals could be overwhelmed by mid-April, with worst-case estimates of 122,000 resulting deaths.
Kansas City Star: Kansas Gov. Kelly’s stay-at-home order buys us time, but Missouri Gov. Parson isn’t buying
In a failure of leadership and failure to listen to those who know better, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, meanwhile, continues to ignore the out-and-out pleading of doctors and other public health officials pushing him to take the same action.
At a self-pitying Saturday news conference, Parson said, “To the people and the reporters that do nothing but criticize others, you don’t need to listen anymore to this briefing today.” With Missouri cases mushrooming from 106 just one week ago to 903 cases and 12 deaths as of Sunday, Governor, we can neither stop listening nor stop pushing you to save lives with more aggressive action.
Riverfront Times: Gov. Mike Parson’s Pathetic Non-Response to Crisis Exposes Cultural Divide
Among his non-actions, Parson has not closed the schools (he waited until they all did it themselves), not issued a state-at-home order (not even close), not demanded that the legislature act urgently to get assistance funds to desperate health care professionals (still hasn’t happened) and not required non-essential business to close statewide (not state’s role).
Parson’s most recent non-action was to announce last Friday that he had “mobilized” the National Guard, albeit with no specific deployment, a gift-for-the-obvious step that hardly reflected the somber tone with which the governor attempted to impersonate a leader. At the same news conference, the governor was asked when his government might get around to releasing the paltry $40 million ($33 million of it in pass-through federal dollars) appropriated on March 19 by the state House of Representatives.
No rush. Even though Parson can only disperse the funds after the Missouri Senate approves the House’s appropriation, he seemed fine with waiting until the senators mosey back to the state capitol sometime this week. He added — without intending irony — that the “drop dead” date to act was April 24.
News Tribune: Our Opinion: Governor should issue stay-at-home order
“Our members, and tens of thousands of fellow health care workers across Missouri, are risking their health and safety and putting their families at risk when they return home each night,” said Lenny Jones, vice president and state director at SEIU Healthcare Missouri Kansas. “The lack of support and leadership from our state government is unacceptable. There is no time to delay, COVID-19 is here and action to protect those on the front lines must be swift and comprehensive.”
We agree. The governor’s repeated calls for “personal responsibility” to fight the virus are not enough.
We need to bite the bullet and have a statewide stay-at-home order to fight this growing threat.