To the editor:

In this era of dangerously overheated partisan politics and ideological bitterness, I think it is important, especially for a lifelong, decidedly left-of-center liberal Democrat like me, to take the time to thank our Republican governor, Charlie Baker, for the leadership he has displayed as our state has struggled with the COVID-19 epidemic.

Like his Democratic counterpart in New York, Andrew Cuomo, Charlie Baker put science and sound public health policies and practices ahead of political pandering and posturing.

Although both Massachusetts and New York were initially hard hit by the virus, Baker and Cuomo, because they followed the science and listened to the epidemiologists and infectious disease specialists, have managed to successfully “flatten the curve” and get their states back on the road to some semblance of normalcy.

If only those in national leadership positions in Charlie’s party had followed his lead, the nation might not be facing the all out public health disaster now confronting us.

Consider this public health reality.

It took a decade for the death toll from HIV to exceed the 100,000 mark.

Thanks to Donald Trump’s failed leadership and incompetence, both of which were enabled by many other Republicans at every level of government, nearly one and a half times as many Americans have died from COVID-19 in barely six months as died from HIV over the course of a decade.

Just think about that for a minute.

Those GOP governors and politicians in states like Florida, Arizona, Texas, Georgia, Alabama and Iowa, who followed Donald Trump down the primrose path of science denial and the rejection of sound published health policies and practices are now, truly, reaping what they sowed.

But not here in Massachusetts, thanks to a Republican governor named Charlie Baker.

Fortunately for us here in Massachusetts, Charlie was cut from the Republican bolt of cloth that produced statesmen and women like Dwight Eisenhower, Margaret Chase Smith, Everett Dirksen, Francis Sargent. Elliot Richardson, and Olympia Snowe -- not from the bolt of cloth that has produced “Trumpublican” sycophants like Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham, Nickie Haley and Geoff Diehl.

So, let’s all, Democrats and Republicans alike, take the time to tip our hats and say thank you to Charlie Baker -- he is more than deserving of both.

Michael Cook




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