(This aired September 2nd, the last segment of “Let’s Get After It” on POTUS Politics, Sirius XM)
Vicki: Kevin in Illinois. He wanted to talk about the politicization of COVID. Hey Kevin.
Chris Cuomo: How you doin, bud?
Kevin: Hey. Hello!
C: How you doin, bud? What do you got?
K: Yes, I am here in Central Illinois. Our COVID numbers are going up.
C: I’m listening to you. Vicki can’t hear you. I can. Go ahead.
K: Ok. Yeah, We have a state senate candidate that wants to run for Governor in a couple years running around. He’s been without a face mask.
And, my parents actually . . . one is in the hospital, another one just found out today that they have COVID . . . so, thankfully, I have antibodies so I am taking care of her.
It’s just so hard to watch. Our State of Illinois is large, but our numbers have been pretty good up until now. The rural counties are really heating up.
Of course, I ran for office. I know how difficult it is for Democrats down here. There is no presence by the Democratic party and there hasn’t been for decades. It’s hard to watch . . . everything you see . . . about the country that you love . . . just go down the tubes . . . and no one say anything about it.
They have a ‘Pritzker Sucks’ sign right next to a ‘Trump-Pence’ sign . . . and, it’s like . . . obviously, cognitive dissonance . . . how can one person be to blame and the other one not? It makes no sense at all.
They demand that these people getting shot by police do what the police say, but then they don’t go out and wear face masks when they go to the post office. Which puts everybody at risk . . . because that’s where a lot of people do their mail in these rural towns. It’s frustrating, to be honest.
C: Well, but isn’t that the process? That the people in the community will speak to their own interests? And, if you don’t have a presence of one party it’s because people there haven’t been responsive? Like what’s the frustrating part?
K: Yeah, it is frustrating. I mean, This is the 19th . . . it was a couple years ago when I ran . . . the 19th most Republican district in the entire country. It’s gerrymandered by Democrats for Republicans. I mean, all of them are down here.
It’s . . . so there’s just no chance. But, you also have to fund . . . I mean, Republicans got their butts handed to them for . . . for decades. But, they put money into candidates . . . and into messaging . . . so at least there was a counter message . . . and then there was the Reagan revolution, right? That just washed over . . .
And, now, if someone knows more than you do, somehow that is offensive . . . that is an insult.
I don’t know how we got to that place as a country or as a culture. We should want people in our lives that know more than us about things because we can’t possibly know everything.
Yeah. I’m just frustrated.
Because my mom, she organized this entire group of women to make masks for . . . for people, for organizations, for nursing homes, and then, actually for our school here. And, it’s just rough.
C: What’s the answer?
K: It’s . . . hard . . . I think we need to have more tough conversations with people. Tell people . . . you cannot live in your own world of alternate reality . . . because it’s killing people.
I’m lucky that my dad . . . it looks like he’s turning the corner. But, it’s . . . these rural hospitals they can’t take a whole bunch of cases . . . of people getting hospitalized. I was just lucky that I knew the best practices to save my own ass. And, I forced the nursing staff to turn my dad over on his stomach, which he hated, but it increased his oxygen levels immediately.
You just hope that every nurse out there that is taking care of COVID patients knows that it can help.
It just doesn’t seem that there’s a coordinated strategy at all. And, that alone, is a real problem, it’s a real threat.
And, what is the answer?
We just need more people to be honest about what’s happening to them. Because . . . keeping all this stuff in a . . . under the rug doesn’t help . . . doesn’t protect anybody.
C: Uhm, I agree. But, I don’t know . . . at the end of the day people get what they want in an election. As long as its fair you get what you ask for . . . And, you may not like what that reflects about what people embrace and don’t embrace . . . but that is the nature of the process . . . all that will change that is exposure and time to different influences to the extent that things will change. You may not like it but others do . . . that is the nature of democracy. And, the people on the side that has the most galvanized interest wins.