The Biden-Trump PSA Fantasy

I have this fantasy.

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump appear in a public service announcement (PSA) where they encourage Americans to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

Biden starts by repeating his promise for a traditional celebration of Independence Day with family and friends if we all do our part by getting vaccinated.

Then Biden could hand off to Trump by thanking the former President for Operation Warp Speed, which produced vaccines in record time.

Trump could then give the current President credit for being on pace to deliver 100 million vaccine doses in the first 100 days of his term.

Trump could remind Americans that he received his shot before leaving office, and he hopes his supporters will follow his lead.

Okay, so that’s probably not going to happen, but I wish it would for all our sakes, and theirs too!

I went back and read news stories from a year ago.  They were ominous, filled with scenarios of what might happen.  More was unknown than known, which triggered a range of emotions—fear, denial, suspicion.

During this last year we gradually, and often reluctantly, settled into the new normal, which was anything but normal. Work from home, home schooling, masks, social distancing, no church or family gatherings, layoffs, shutdowns.

And tragically, a daily count of the sick and the dying.

We all wanted it to end, but there was no silver bullet. The only way out was through (to paraphrase Robert Frost).  West Virginia Covid-19 Czar Dr. Clay Marsh tirelessly reminded us day after day that we each had the power within us to protect ourselves and others.

That was an encouraging message. It spoke to our ability to exercise some control, which was essential for our physical and mental well-being given that a global pandemic, by definition, meant the virus spread out of control.

We are not out of the woods, but a break in the trees is in sight.  Vaccine doses are now flooding into our communities. West Virginia’s distribution is becoming more decentralized as pharmacies, hospitals, and health departments deliver more shots in arms by the week.

A CBS News Poll found that six in ten Americans believe conditions related to the pandemic will improve over the next few months because “people are getting vaccinated.”  The next challenge is to convince more Americans to get the shot.

That same poll found that 22 percent of Americans who have not already been vaccinated say “maybe” they will, and 22 percent say they will not.  That will leave a lot of unvaccinated individuals, which will hamper efforts to escape the pandemic.

And that brings us back to my fantasy of Trump and Biden together, encouraging people to get vaccinated.

Over 155 million Americans voted for either Biden or Trump.  That is a potentially huge audience for a life-saving message. The country would benefit immensely and both men would be winners.

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