Having recently had some success flattening the curve and effectively mitigating the spread of SARS-CoV‑2, the novel coronavirus, the states of Washington, Oregon, and California have all announced that they will be sending ventilators back east to help New York and New Jersey in their great hour of need.
Washington and Oregon (led by Jay Inslee and Kate Brown) are sending ventilators to New York, while California (led by Gavin Newsom) is helping six states plus the District of Columbia. Five of the six states are in the Eastern timezone.
Even though COVID-19 remains a grave threat to our region of the country, we’re taking this step because New York and New Jersey have it worse than we do, and need the help. This is keeping with our values of empathy and mutual responsibility. This is who we are as Washingtonians, Oregonians, and Californians.
With the federal government unable to provide the hardest hit states with the ventilators they need, we Left Coast states are doing what they can Atlantic seaboard counterparts, who are incredibly grateful.
New Jersey’s Phil Murphy declared that California’s generosity and compassion would not be forgotten and that New Jersey would pay it forward.
“We are beyond grateful to Gavin Newsom and the people of California. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you. We will repay the favor when California needs it,” the Garden State’s chief executive tweeted today.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo also thanked Oregon publicly during a press conference, calling the ventilator gift “astonishing” and “unexpected”.
“I want to thank the people of the State of Oregon for their thoughtfulness,” said Cuomo. “It was a kind gesture.” He also noted that it was really smart for Oregon to help fight COVID-19 in New York, because the disease isn’t countered there, then it will remain a threat to Oregonians’ health and well-being.
Governor Cuomo is correct. In the words of the late, great Paul Wellstone, we all do better when we all do better. Pooling our resources to solve problems… pulling together to overcome obstacles, whether a depression or a deadly world war or the scourge of terrorism or a pandemic… it’s something we have repeatedly done throughout our history as a country. Out of many, one. E pluribus unum.
Sadly, that great and noble tradition of cooperation and mutual responsibility has been under attack for a long time now by the forces of greed, instant gratification, and selfishness, which have in modern times found a home in the Republican Party.
With the federal government under Republican control and paralyzed or unable to effectively respond due to Donald Trump’s regime’s corruption and incompetence, it has fallen to states like California, Oregon, and Washington to lead.
Our team at NPI is proud of the work that Governors Inslee, Brown, and Newsom are doing. They are forging stronger relationships so that they can fight COVID-19 more effectively. That’s exactly what we want to see.
Now they need to tackle the PPE shortage problem together. How can we get our frontline healthcare workers and first responders and janitors the tools and supplies they need to be safe? Answering that question is an urgent priority.