By Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) | GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
Susan Collins is a Republican senator from Maine who is seeking reelection this year.
Many of my constituents have been asking me about the recent Coronavirus outbreak. As it has metastasized over the last few weeks, I cannot stay silent. I’m extremely disappointed in the Coronavirus, and sincerely wish it would stop.
I condemn in the strongest possible terms Coronavirus’ decision to spread, despite my prior warnings. Just last month, I had the thought to acknowledge it was a problem. Last week, I called on the Coronavirus to “take it down a notch.” I thought that Coronavirus had learned its lesson, as oftentimes, gently explaining that something is wrong is an effective way to stop that thing.
Now, I believe the Coronavirus has no choice but to explain its behavior in some form or another. Consider this a final warning: I’m almost willing to do something about it. Whether that means issuing another statement, or even saying its actions are “wrong,” all options are on the table. Anything will do, quite frankly. A short statement of regret, a promise to not do it again, even a hint of that works for me. Please?
At this moment, I just don’t know enough about the motivation of the Coronavirus to make a judgment on its intentions.
That said, I would also like to hear from the other side. Why is the Coronavirus bad? What evidence do they have? And, most importantly, they must be respectful when making their arguments. At this moment, I just don’t know enough about the motivation of the Coronavirus to make a judgment on its intentions. Its actions may have been wrong—that is starting to sound plausible—but the media’s breathless reporting of “thousands of infections” does not paint the whole picture. Thousands may have been infected, but what about the billions (including myself) who are not? If we’re all fine, then what’s the harm, really? These are questions that no one is asking.
Unfortunately, many of my colleagues have resorted to name-calling and ad-hominem attacks that aren’t going to solve the problem, and they hurt my feelings. Some extreme senators have even called for a cure to be developed, even before they’ve heard all the facts. Surely, that will not solve the problem. Instead, I am confident that a good ol’ Collins finger-wag will do the trick, and the Coronavirus will learn its lesson. If it doesn’t, I’ll have no choice but to ask it politely again to stop. Heed my words, Coronavirus: that’s a step that I may or may not take.
At the end of the day, I’m just a simple United States legislator. What can I do? There is simply no mechanism I see that is appropriate at this time. I hope that cooler heads will prevail in the end, and we can return to a bipartisan tradition of ignoring issues rather than inflaming them. ♦
Nate Odenkirk is extremely disappointed in Susan Collins.