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    Female World Leaders Excel During Crisis as Trump Tanks

    By Louise “Lou” Fischer–

    So here we are, week 7 (or is it 8? who knows anymore) of captivity and I’ve realized 2 things: 1) Trump sucks as president. He really sucks, as my sisters and I used to say back in the 70s, “he sucks out loud,” with loud being both literal and colloquial in this case. He is punching out of his weight class, is completely unqualified, and has not realized that the presidency is not a “fake it till you make it” job. And 2) female leaders are schooling us on how to run a country during a pandemic.

    About two weeks ago, while driving home very late from work (I’m an “essential worker”), I heard former President Obama’s voice on the radio (the day he endorsed Biden). It was as if the angels were singing; I closed my eyes, smiled, and pretended he was still president. I was driving southbound on 101 at around midnight, so closing my eyes was 100 times worse than texting while driving, but it was a nice fantasy while it lasted.  

    Until recently, Trump’s incompetence was laughable and damaging to democracy, but now it has turned deadly; just ask the families of the 72,417 people in the U.S. who have died as of May 6 (more by the time you are reading this article). After downplaying the risks and squandering precious weeks (months?) while blaming China, Europe, the Democratic Party, the media, and even blaming the bossa nova for all we know, he unveiled his specialized brand of sociopathy, narcissism, and ignorance for all the world to see. It’s so bad that even Ireland— where the people worship leprechauns, enjoy Riverdance, and consider Guinness Stout a “refreshing beer”—is pitying the United States. Do a search on Irish Times’ columnist Fintan O’Toole and read his article entitled Donald Trump Has Destroyed the Country He Promised to Make Great Again.” When you are done, go cry your eyes out for an hour or so.  

    For those of you who got weeded out of pre-med in college, you can breathe a sigh of relief that you’re not one of the poor, hapless experts who had to stand with Trump at press conferences and squirm with embarrassment when he said the virus would be gone “soon” and if not, just drink/inject cleaning products because if they can disinfect your kitchen counters, just imagine what power they will have over a puny virus. I feel so badly for Dr. Deborah Birx and Dr. Anthony Fauci, who must wonder every day what holy hell they are in and may be feeling regret for missing out on all the keg parties and fun times during four years of college, four more years of medical school, and another 4–7 years of residency and fellowships.    

    Trump said, “Our country wasn’t built to be shut down.” Well, our country wasn’t built to have an idiot like you as president either. He wanted to open the country and fill the churches by Easter because “we can’t have the cure be worse than the disease. Really? Dude, at this point you are worse than the disease. Please go away and take your incompetent, cheerleading sycophants with you. “Sleepy” Joe Biden, please wake up; we need you! Full disclaimer: Biden was my second to last choice for president (Kamala, Elizabeth, and AmyK were my top three) but, of course, I’m supporting him and you must too, because as Joy-Ann Reid from MSBNC says about Trump, “That man need to be gone.”

    Female Leaders Excelling During Crisis

    A few weeks ago, pundits, columnists, and other members of the press noticed that countries that have fewer cases (relatively) of coronavirus happen to be run by women. Wow, what a surprise: a leader who tells the truth, listens to experts, can look beyond themself, act in the public good, and is not afraid to take decisive action is actually more successful in combating a deadly pandemic. Gee, I wonder why? Maybe because women leaders have to be confident while maintaining humility, be assertive yet vulnerable, and show toughness and yet be empathetic. Call me crazy, but I thought that was the job requirement for all elected officials. So, let’s look at these great gals who, along with my gal-pal and favorite mayor, London Breed, are showing the world how it’s done.

    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand, was quick to close borders and move to lockdown. The country had virtually no community transmission and pretty much eliminated the virus there.

    Chancellor Angela Merkel, Germany, has a doctorate in quantum chemistry and we’re stuck with a flim-flam-man with a disregard for scientific expertise. Sheesh, who did we piss off? (Um, that would be Mother Earth; she’s pretty mad at the U.S. for the climate change stuff. Merkel fast-tracked COVID-19 testing and in mid-April, Germany was running approximately 120,000 tests per day while the U.S. was barely eking out 15,000 per day.   

    President Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan, is the biggest “kick-ass” of the group. I’m thinking she has Wonder Woman bracelets that were modified to stop pathogens instead of bullets. In January, at the first whiff of “a disease is a comin’ oh yeah,” she instituted measures to block the spread without having to resort to lockdown. The country of 23 million has had fewer than 500 Covid-19 cases, and, at last report, 6 deaths. 

    Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, Denmark, shut down borders and put the country in lockdown early. More importantly, Frederiksen is taking care of her people financially with various economic policies as opposed to the U.S., where you may or may not get a stimulus check, unemployment benefits, or a small business grant because Trump gave them to public companies instead of actual small businesses. So, while Denmark takes care of their residents, in the U.S., artists, musicians, bar owners, theatre people, gig workers, etc. are relegated to “GoFundMe” pages and interminably long lines at food banks.  

    Honorable mention to Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir of Iceland for providing free coronavirus testing to all citizens, 34-year-old Prime Minister Sanna Marin of Finland (the world’s youngest head of state) for using social media to manage the pandemic (while our idiot-in-chief uses Twitter as a weapon), and Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway for holding dedicated press conferences for children and explaining that it is OK to feel scared (as opposed to Trump, who holds press conferences that make the entire population more scared). 

    Imagine if the will of the people had prevailed in 2016 instead of the Electoral College and we had a female president who respects science and would have governed with empathy and care. While this won’t happen in 2020, you still have to vote for Biden to get us out of this mess. As I say in almost every column, “Elections matter.” Stay safe and be healthy.  

    Louise (Lou) Fischer is a former co-chair of the Board of Directors for the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club and has served as an appointed and elected delegate for the State Democratic Party. She is a proud graduate of the Emerge California Women’s Democratic Leadership program, was a San Francisco commissioner, and has served in leadership positions in multiple nonprofit and community-based organizations.

    Published on May 7, 2020