Donald Trump has put Mike Pence in charge of stopping the Coronavirus spread in the United States. What could possibly go wrong? Ask the fine folks who lived through the largest HIV outbreak in Indiana all because of Pence’s “moral” views. According to the Washington Post, Pence’s failure to act at the beginning of the outbreak and his opposition to a proposed needle exchange program, an outbreak which could have been contained was instead left to flourish.
Even though HIV was first considered a curse or plague on gay men, the Indiana outbreak occurred in 2015. Likely, Pence still held those 1990 views, and therein lies the problem with some so-called Christians who allow their judgment of others (which is a sin, Pence) to outweigh their common sense. It is good to have beliefs, moral or otherwise, but when those beliefs override care and concern for other human beings—regardless of who they are—those beliefs begin to fall away from the Christianity that God intended. Sometimes, God tests our Christianity in ways we can’t even imagine, and in the case of Mike Pence, he fails the test.
Trump claims that he appointed Pence to head the fight against coronavirus because “he’s got a certain talent for this.” Yeah, a talent for ignoring people and allowing them to die if they don’t fit his definition of moral people. WaPo further shares that in 2011, Congressman Pence voted to cut funding to Planned Parenthood. Two short years later, one of the clinics that closed due to cuts was the only HIV-testing center in Scott County, Indiana; meaning, people couldn’t even be tested for the virus, let alone receive treatment. He exacerbated that by taking two months to declare a state of emergency and ignored federal health experts who recommended that clean needles would help with Indiana’s outbreak, the majority of which stemmed from people sharing needles to inject Opana, a highly addictive pain killer.
Even after the CDC assured Pence that the needle program would stop not only the spread of HIV but Hepatitis B and C, Pence declined to participate in this program. Pence resembles Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol: “If they’d rather die, then let them die and decrease the surplus population.” These people are less than human to “Christians” like Pence. As Bernie Sanders said in a tweet, “Have VP Pence, who wanted to ‘pray away’ an HIV epidemic, oversee the response.” That’s just about right. A mere three years later, researchers found that this epidemic could have been prevented “if Pence and state officials had acted faster.” Is this what God intended or expects from us?
Researchers are against Pence as the head of containing this virus, with good reason. Gregg Gonsalves, a Yale epidemiologist, tweeted that assigning Pence to oversee this virus “speaks to a lack of seriousness by the White House.” This may be true, but it also speaks to the ongoing incompetence of “president” Donald Trump and his complete inability to do the right thing by the American people. Putting Pence in charge of what can easily become a pandemic is not only a complete joke, but it is a slap in the face to those who fall victim to this deadly virus.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years